United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (Photo: Xinhua)
| "We've learned with gravest concern of reports of the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria, including in Idlib (governorate). The secretary-general once again condemns in the strongest possible terms any use of such weapons for which there can be no justification," Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters.
"He (Guterres) reiterated his call for unity of the Security Council in order to ensure that those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria are identified and held accountable," said Haq, referring to the impasse within the council that led to the dissolution of an independent investigative mechanism, which found that both the Syrian government and the Islamic State terrorist group used chemical weapons in Syria.
Last year, Russia used its veto power in the Security Council three times to kill the joint Investigative Mechanism of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Russia last month circulated a draft resolution for a new investigative mechanism, but several council members have expressed serious reservations about the text.
Chinese Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Wu Haitao said on February 5 that China supports Russia's efforts to push for the establishment of a new investigative mechanism. China hopes that council members will continue to hold constructive consultations in order to reach consensus at an early date, he told the Council.