French draft gives Syria a 15-day deadline

French draft gives Syria a 15-day deadline
Thu Sep 12, 2013 20:22:25

France has proposed a draft United Nations Resolution giving Syria’s government 15 days to submit a “complete and definitive” declaration of its chemical arsenal.

The draft then “demands” the unconditional destruction of these weapons “under international supervision”.

If Syria fails to comply, it would face “further necessary measures under Chapter VII” of the UN Charter, which provides for the use of armed force.

In addition, the proposed resolution unilaterally and allegedly blame the “Syrian authorities” for carrying out the poison gas attacks, which have not been verified by UN inspectors yet.

As such, the resolution embodies all the key demands of the Western powers: Syria would have to disarm according to a clear timetable, backed by the threat of force, and Assad’s government would be held responsible for last month’s atrocity and referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

But much of this is unacceptable to Russia and China, both of whom wield veto power in the Security Council. In particular, they object to any language that might be held to authorize the use of force against Syria. They also oppose referring the situation in the country to the ICC’s chief prosecutor.

For their part, the United States, Britain and France all believe that if any threat of force is dropped from resolution, then Assad will have no reason to surrender his chemical arsenal.

This division between the Security Council’s five permanent members is one that cannot be fudged.


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