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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Security Council fails to extend mandate of panel investigating use of chemical weapons in Syria

24 October 2017 – The Security Council on Tuesday failed to adopt a resolution extending the mandate of a joint United Nations-Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon (OPCW) body to identify the perpetrators of chemical-weapons attacks in Syria due to a 'no' vote by permanent member Russia.

Eleven of the Council's 15 members voted in favour, while Russia and non-permanent member Bolivia voted against the text. Permanent member China, and non-permanent Kazakhstan abstained.

A negative vote – or veto – from one of the Council's five permanent members means a resolution cannot be adopted.

Had the United States-proposed text been adopted, it would have extended the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism's mandate – established unanimously by the Council in 2015 and set to expire on 17 November – for a further one year.

In an earlier procedural action, the Security Council defeated Russia's proposal to adjourn the meeting by four votes in favour of the adjournment to eight opposed, with three abstentions.

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