I’ve blogged about the UNSG’s Mechanism for Investigation of Alleged Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons before, but I just ran across this September 5 document from UN ODA called Frequently Asked Questions about the United Nations Mission to Investigate the Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic.
ODA’s not much for brevity, it seems.
Anyhow, this portion explains one aspect of the mechanism which appears (at least to me) to be poorly understood:
What is the authority that grants the United Nations the right to investigate the
alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria?
UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/42/37C – adopted in 1987 – grants the
Secretary-General the authority to investigate alleged uses of chemical, biological or
toxin weapons. The mandate which is called the “Secretary-General’s Mechanism”
(SGM) was reaffirmed one year later by UN Security Council resolution 620 (1988).
Under the mandate, the Secretary-General is authorized to carry out investigations in
response to reports that may be brought to his attention by any UN Member State
concerning the possible use of chemical and biological weapons that may constitute a
violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol or other relevant rules of international law in
order to ascertain the facts of the matter and to report promptly the results of any such investigations to all UN Member States.