US & World

UN Security Council approves resolution on Syria's chemical weapons

Britain's Foreign Minister William Hague (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) vote to approve a resolution that will require Syria to give up its chemical weapons during a meeting Sept. 27, 2013 at U.N. headquarters in New York.
Britain's Foreign Minister William Hague (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) vote to approve a resolution that will require Syria to give up its chemical weapons during a meeting Sept. 27, 2013 at U.N. headquarters in New York.
Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Sealing an unlikely diplomatic alliance between the United States and Russia, The United Nations Security Council on Friday voted unanimously to approve a resolution that compels Syria to give up its chemical weapons or face consequences.

As the AP reports, the resolution, which had been previously agreed to by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, includes two legally-binding provisions: First, that Syria give up its chemical stockpile and second, that it allow unfettered access to international chemical-weapons experts.

If Syria fails to comply, the member states will seek a second resolution approving any military action or other sanctions.

The resolution marks the culmination of a diplomatic effort that averted a U.S. military strike on Syria.

If you remember, as Congress was weighing whether to authorize military action, Russia seized on an apparently off-the-cuff suggestion by Secretary of State John Kerry, who said the U.S. was willing to back off its war footing if Syria gave up its entire chemical arsenal quickly and in a verifiable manner.

Syria quickly signed papers that opened the door for membership into the Chemical Weapons Convention and the U.S. and Russia worked through the U.N. to try to put together a resolution that would enforce the U.S.-Russia agreement.