The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) failed to adopt a resolution Wednesday that would condemn the use of chemical weapons in Syria and appeal to its government to cooperate with an investigation.
Ten of the UNSC members voted in favor of the resolution, including Egypt and Senegal, while Ethiopia abstained from voting. Permanent member Russia’s veto ensured that the resolution would not pass.
The proposed measure was drafted by France, the United Kingdom and the United States, all of whom have permanent UNSC seats along with China. It would have strongly condemned a chemical weapons attack in Syria last week that drew international scrutiny and a targeted military response from the U.S.
The failed resolution also would require Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government to comply with an international investigation. In prior debates over evidence that chemical weapons were used in Syria again, delegates have “expressed unanimous outrage over the use of chemical weapons, but differed over varying reports of what had actually happened and the appropriate course of action,” the UN said.
In a statement following last week’s UNSC meeting, Egyptian representative Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta said “we cannot understand how such crimes can go unnoticed without accountability,” and appealed for a serious and honest investigation of war crimes in Syria. Fodé Seck of Senegal said nothing could justify a chemical weapons attack, while Ethiopia’s Tekeda Alemu hoped for a full and successful investigation based on credible evidence.