The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously late Friday to require
Syria to eliminate its arsenal of chemical weapons, according to media
Members of the council met shortly after another
international group voted to fast-track Syria's addition to the Chemical
Weapons Convention, which bans such weapons, according to CNN. The
Guardian reported that Syria would have until November to destroy all of
its chemical weapons stockpile.
Syria announced this month that it was willing to join the agreement.
The executive committee of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, meeting in the Netherlands, adopted its measure by consensus in about 10 minutes.
"We now have a legal mandate to start a verification mission in Syria," said group spokesman Michael Luhan.
President Barack Obama, speaking before the votes, said he was "very
hopeful" about the developments, but warned much work remains to be
"I think, rightly, people have been concerned about whether
Syria will follow through on the commitments that have been laid forth
and I think there are legitimate concerns as to how technically we are
going to be getting those chemical weapons out while there's still
fighting going on the ground," Obama said.
The proposed U.N.
resolution would "require the destruction of a category of weapons that
the Syrian government has used ruthlessly and repeatedly against its own
people. And this resolution will make clear that there are going to be
consequences for noncompliance," said Samantha Power, the U.S.
ambassador to the United Nations.
Power described the move as
significant, as it represented the first time since the start of Syria's
civil war that the Security Council would impose binding obligations on
The resolution did not authorize the automatic use
of force if Syria is said to be in violation, as was previously sought
by the United States, CNN reported.