Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the UN Investigation into Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
March 21, 2013


The United States welcomes today’s announcement by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon regarding an investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.  The United States supports an investigation that pursues any and all credible allegations of the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria, and underscores the importance of launching this investigation as swiftly as possible.  We demand the full cooperation of the Assad regime in particular, as well as Syrian authorities throughout the country, including by providing full and unfettered access to all relevant individuals and locations.  In addition, humanitarian workers seeking to assist injured individuals should be given complete access to provide medical care and assistance as needed.

We call on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to provide full support to the UN’s investigation, including information, expertise, and resources.  As the UN proceeds with these efforts, we will also continue to work closely with our partners to obtain further information regarding any and all credible allegations of the potential or actual use of chemical weapons in Syria.

President Obama has been clear that the use or transfer of chemical weapons is totally unacceptable.  If Bashar Al-Assad and those under his command make the mistake of using chemical weapons, or fail to meet their obligation to secure them, then there will be consequences.  Those responsible will be held accountable.


PRN: 2013/035