Secretary-General's statement on Syria, 13 April 2018

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In an earlier statement, the United Nations chief said a new Cold War had begun in the wake of a deadly suspected chemical attack in Syria.

The Secretary General said that France had submitted a proposal to restrict the veto in resolutions on crimes against humanity.

"There's an obligation, particularly when dealing with matters of peace and security, to act consistently with the Charter of the United Nations and with global law in general".

He called on all member states of the UN Security Council to show restraint in these risky circumstances and avoid any acts that can escalate the situation and worsen suffering of Syrian people.

He cited the Palestinian-Israeli divide, the Sunni-Shia divide "evident from the Gulf to the Mediterranean" and other divisive factors reflected in a multiplicity of conflicts.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned against any further escalation after the USA, U.K., and France jointly launched airstrikes targeting the Assad regime's alleged chemical weapons capabilities in Syria.

"We continue to observe unsafe military preparations for an illegal act of force against a sovereign state", Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council.

"For eight long years the people of Syria have endured suffering upon suffering".

Guterres remarks came in the wake of combined military air strikes by the USA, the United Kingdom and France against President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime.

Syria will assume the presidency of the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament, based in Geneva, on May 28 and hold it over four weeks, until June 24.

US President Donald Trump said the joint action was meant to establish a "strong deterrent" against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons.

Terming any use of chemical weapons as "abhorrent", the United Nations head said: "The suffering it causes is horrendous".

French Ambassador Francois Delattre told the Security Council meeting that world powers must respond to the threat of repeated use of toxic gas as a weapon in Syria's war.

Russian Federation this week vetoed a United States proposal to set up such a panel following an alleged chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Douma that killed more than 40 people, according to medics and rescuers.

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