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CELAC issues statement on Syria

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Written by Stephan Lefebvre   
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 16:10

CELAC, a regional bloc that includes every country in the Americas except the U.S. and Canada, released a statement yesterday on the situation in Syria.  The group, whose rotating presidency is currently held by Raúl Castro of Cuba, called for an end to the violence in Syria by way of a negotiated political solution.  In the statement CELAC issued a reminder that any action on Syria must be approved by the U.N. Security Council in accordance with international law.  

Below is our translation of the statement, from the original text in Spanish.

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The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) deeply regrets the loss of human lives and expresses grave concern for the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, and for the dangers it poses to the Middle East and for international peace and security. 

CELAC expresses its strongest condemnation for the use of chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, regardless of where they are used and who deploys them, and its member states reaffirm their full commitment to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction.

Therefore, we call upon those who have verifiable evidence on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and those who have used them to turn in that evidence to the research teams set up by the United Nations, as part an effort that will fully clarify the facts and prevent further consequences. 

We ask that the Security Council, based on its vested powers and the Report of the Fact-Finding Mission on Syria, intensify its efforts for peace, so that the attacks might end, and resolve that if the use of chemical weapons is verified then those responsible will not be allowed impunity.  CELAC reminds that any action can only be taken by the Security Council, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

CELAC, reiterating its commitment to peace and its respect for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and in International Law, including International Humanitarian Law, demands an immediate end to the violence and that civilian populations be protected, and firmly calls to end the provision of weapons to the Syrian territories and to all sides, in order to avoid violence and attacks against civilian populations and to create the conditions whereby a negotiated political solution to the conflict in Syria that has cost thousands of innocent people their lives can progress. 

In this context, CELAC calls upon the Secretary General of the United Nations to continue his efforts to bring an end to the conflict and reiterates its support for Lakhdar Brahimi, United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy, and for an international conference on the situation in Syria.

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