Binding Resolution Adopted by UN on Chemical Weapons

The Security Council for the United Nations unanimously approved a binding resolution on ridding chemical weapons in Syria. At the New York session of the Security Council, which consists of 15 members, the group backed the document that had been agreed up earlier by the U.S. and Russia.

The deal ended a deadlock of two and a half years in the UN over Syria, where a civil war has been raging between rebels and the current government.

The vote took place after the chemical watchdog had agreed upon the plan that would destroy the stockpile of Syria before the middle of next year.

Speaking following the Security Council vote, Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the UN said the decision made was historic.

Just weeks ago, this vote would have been viewed as highly unlikely, in not completely unimaginable. However, on Friday a two and a half year deadlocked Security Council had all hands raised in agreement to a new binding resolution.

Even after the August 21 attack near Damascus, members of the Security Council were unable to agree to a statement condemning the killings.

Two important demands are included in the resolution: Syria must abandon its stockpile of chemical weapons and weapons experts must be given complete access to ensure the weapons are dismantled before July of 2014.

However, the resolution does not include the use of automatic force if it is found that Syria is in violation, as was pointed out by Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia.

A second resolution would be needed for punitive measures such as sanctions or military action, and then Russia would most likely veto the action.

The resolution does not attribute any guilt for the attack on August 21. Despite the agreement that was reached two weeks ago in Geneva, which the current resolution ensures, the U.S. and Russia remain far apart over who should be blamed.

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