The world moved a step closer to removing Syria’s chemical arsenal on Thursday after permanent members of the Security Council agreed on a draft resolution to eliminate the Assad’s weaponry.
Britain, the US, Russia, France and China are now scheduled to present the wording of the resolution to the full council for approval, with the UK's ambassador to the UN, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, breaking the news on Twitter.
He wrote: "P5 agree on binding and enforceable draft #UNSC resolution text to eliminate #Syrian CW arsenal. We shall introduce text to full SC tonight."
The move follows talks between Washington and Moscow during Tuesday’s annual gathering at the UN in New York, and despite differences over the wording as to where ultimate responsibility would sit should the regime fail to dismantle its stockpile, a meeting between foreign ministers for the P5 and secretary general Ban Ki-moon appears to have led to a workable draft.
US Ambassador Samantha Power confirmed that an agreement had been reached. On Twitter, she said the resolution establishes that Assad's chemical weapons "is threat to international peace & security & creates a new norm against the use of CW."
The draft UNSCR establishes that #Syria's use of CW is threat to international peace & security & creates a new norm against the use of CW.— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) September 26, 2013
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In his address to the Security Council on Wednesday, US President Barack Obama called for consensus. "If we cannot agree even on this, then it will show that the United Nations is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws," he said.
Further discussions will be held to discuss a proposed peace conference on Syria to be held in Geneva next month.