Statement by Ambassador Haley on Accountability for Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

Ambassador Nikki Haley
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
October 18, 2017


Given the multiple chemical attacks that we have seen in Syria, renewing the mandate for the Joint Investigative Mechanism – the UN’s primary tool for investigating the horrific use of chemical weapons in Syria – is critical. We need to ensure accountability for these attacks, which have killed hundreds of innocent civilians, including children who were sleeping or trying to attend school. There is overwhelming support in the Security Council to renew this mandate to continue this important work – as there should be.

The United States is calling for the Security Council to approve the continuation of these investigations prior to the release of the next official report of their findings. This should not be controversial, but some Council members have decided to make it so. Basing the renewal on the contents of the next report, which the Russians would like to do, politicizes the process. We can’t work like that. We need to continue to investigate attacks, collect evidence and confirm when chemical agents were used, and then look at who was responsible so we can hold them accountable. We can’t pick and choose who we want to be at fault and who we don’t.

Today, the United States will share a draft UN Security Council resolution to renew the Joint Investigative Mechanism’s mandate with the intention to hold a vote on the renewal prior to the release of its next report.