Syria Chemical Weapons: UN Votes To EliminateBy: Tobias Roth - September 28, 2013
Syria’s chemical weapons have been stirring up quite the controversy in recent weeks, leading up to an eventual vote from the United Nations. Syria’s use of chemical weapons gained the attention of President Obama and became a very serious issue in the United States recently. On Friday night, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to secure and destroy Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons.
The Syrian rebels have been reportedly using the chemical weapons and killing their own citizens, causing outside countries to want to intervene. The vote came after two weeks of intense negotiations marked a major breakthrough in the paralysis that has gripped the council since the Syrian uprising began, according to CBS News. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons will begin in November and will likely be completed by the middle of next year.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the council after the vote that “Today’s historic resolution is the first hopeful news on Syria in a long time.” Ban said that the target date for a new peace conference is in November. The conflict has been escalating for 2 and a half years now, and it is important that something is done, but the main thing that the American people is concerned with is not wanting another war. The recent decision made by the U.N. should avoid that, and this comes as great news.
As a sign of the broad support for the resolution, all 15 council members signed on as co-sponsors. As can be expected from the likes of Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, they both dismissed the resolution as “another triumph of hope over reality.” Time Magazine mentions that the resolution would ban any country from obtaining chemical weapons or the technology or equipment to produce them from Syria.
The U.N. resolution’s adoption was secured after the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, which Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain, signed off on the text on Thursday. Negotiations, primarily between the United States and Russia continue, as they discuss how to destroy Syria’s stockpile of weapons.
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