U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley did not mince words at the U.N. on Wednesday — warning that if the organization failed to act following the deadly attack in Syria, the Trump Administration may handle the situation without them.
“This Security Council thinks of itself as a defender of peace, security, and human rights,” Haley said at a U.N. Security Council emergency meeting on Syria on Wednesday. “When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action.”
The suspected chemical attack that took place Tuesday in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, has killed over 70 people, including children. Although Bashar Assad’s Syrian government has denied any responsibility, the Trump Administration said it was holding them accountable.
Haley also called out Russia, which holds a seat on the Security Council, for enabling Assad.
“Assad has no incentive to stop using chemical weapons as long as Russia continues to protect his regime from consequences,” she said.
Read Haley’s full remarks below.
It was interesting to hear of the talk from my Russian colleague about the independent investigations and the importance of them, because this entire Security Council decided on what the Joint Investigative Mechanism would be and decided what it would do, and it was actually voted on unanimously. And the joint mechanism came back and said that the Syrian government committed chemical weapons acts against their own people three different times. But somehow now we don’t like what the Joint Investigative Mechanism does.
Having said that, I will say in the life of the United Nations, there are times when we are compelled to do more than just talk. There are times we are compelled to take collective action. This Security Council thinks of itself as a defender of peace, security, and human rights. We will not deserve that description if we do not rise to action today.
Yesterday morning, we awoke to pictures, to children foaming at the mouth, suffering convulsions, being carried in the arms of desperate parents. We saw rows of lifeless bodies. Some still in diapers. Some with the visible scars of a chemical weapons attack.
Look at those pictures. We cannot close our eyes to those pictures. We cannot close our minds of the responsibility to act. We don’t yet know everything about yesterday’s attack. But there are many things we do know.
We know that yesterday’s attack bears all the hallmarks of the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. We know that Assad has used these weapons against the Syrian people…