Ambassador Haley Delivers Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

United States Mission To The United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
April 4, 2018

Ambassador Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, delivered remarks this morning at a UN Security Council briefing on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The briefing coincided with the one-year anniversary of the chemical weapons attack on civilians in Khan Sheikhoun in Syria on April 4, 2017.

“It’s a sad fact, just a few years ago, a single chemical weapons attack would have united us in shock and anger. It would have been enough for us to take immediate action. Now, we have a regime that uses chemical weapons practically every other week. Our lack of action has consequences. When we let one regime off the hook, others take notice. The use of nerve agents in Salisbury and Kuala Lumpur proves this point and reveals a dangerous trend. We are rapidly sliding backward, crossing back into a world that we thought we left. No one wants to live in a world where chemical weapons are used. No one wants to live in fear that a colorless, shapeless gas will suddenly seep into our lungs and leave us gasping for air. If we do not act, if we do not stop and change course, this is the world we could be fast approaching.”

“Even as the Security Council has remained deadlocked, some have stood up to demand accountability for the use of chemical weapons. The General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the creation of the International, Impartial, and Independent Mechanism on crimes committed in Syria, which is collecting evidence for future prosecutions. The United States also fully supports France’s International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons. These efforts are vital. But we must not forget that while we sit here debating chemical weapons, there are people on the front lines in Syria who are facing the terrifying reality of those heinous weapons.”

“We must not stop working to rid this world of chemical weapons and holding account anyone, anywhere who uses them. We have done this before. We have committed to a world without chemical weapons. We have signed the treaties banning them. We have destroyed stockpiles. We have launched truly independent and impartial investigations to know who is responsible for using them.”

“Even with all of the profound divisions on this Council, the United States refuses to believe that we cannot come together once again to stop chemical weapons. Not just to protect the Syrian people, but to protect us all.”

Full transcript and video of remarks: