Power: Russia Holding Security Council "Hostage" on Syria, No "Viable Path" Forward There

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 5 2013 10:07 PM

Power: Russia Holding Security Council "Hostage" on Syria, No "Viable Path" Forward There

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U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power at the United Nations headquarters in New York, August 6, 2013.

Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power accused Russia of holding the U.N. Security Council “hostage” in its attempts to address the chemical weapons attacks in Syria. In a press conference at the U.N. Thursday, Power told reporters: "Even in the wake of the flagrant shattering of the international norm against chemical weapons use, Russia continues to hold the council hostage and shirk its international responsibilities.”

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Unfortunately, for the past two and a half years, the system devised in 1945 precisely to deal with threats of this nature did not work as it was supposed to. It has not protected peace and security for the hundreds of Syrian children who were gassed to death on August 21. It is not protecting the stability of the region. It is not standing behind now an internationally accepted ban on the use of chemical weapons. Instead, the system has protected the prerogatives of Russia, the patron of a regime that would brazenly stage the world’s largest chemical weapons attack in a quarter century -- while chemical weapons inspectors sent by the United Nations were just across town. And even in the wake of the flagrant shattering of the international norm against chemical weapons use, Russia continues to hold the Council hostage and shirk its international responsibilities, including as a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

"And our view, again our considered view, after months of efforts on chemical weapons and after two and a half years on Geneva, on the humanitarian situation, is that there is no viable path forward in this Security Council," Power told reporters.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.