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UNSC fails to adopt resolution on Syria chemical attacks probe

United Nations, Nov 17 (IANS) The UN Security Council has failed to adopt the draft text of the US addressing the renewal of the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN investigating chemical attacks in Syria.

Russia vetoed the US-drafted resolution, while China abstained from voting on the resolution on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Security Council had planned to put on vote of two draft resolutions, each of which would renew the mandate of the JIM, which ends on November 17. Russia withdrew its draft resolution before the vote began, citing procedure reasons.

There had been a great deal of activity around the renewal of the JIM and its final report in the last few weeks.

The US put a resolution to a vote to renew the JIM with the same mandate for an additional year on October 24, two days before the release of the JIM’s final report. Russia vetoed the resolution, arguing a need to evaluate the effectiveness of the JIM by assessing the final report before discussing its renewal.

On November 2, Russia and the US circulated competing drafts renewing the JIM’s mandate.

On November 7, Edmond Mulet, head of the JIM’s leadership panel, briefed the Council on its final report. During the briefing, the existing divisions in the Council were on full display.

Russia criticised the JIM for falling short of the standards of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

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