U.N. official says Syria must honor CWC obligations

The Syrian government must honor its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the international community must bring the individuals responsible for chemical weapons attacks to justice, a U.N. official said on Tuesday.

John Ashe, the president of the U.N. General Assembly for the 68th session, made the remarks on Tuesday as part of his opening statement before the assembly. Ashe discussed the importance of the upcoming year, given worldwide issues of poverty and malnutrition, gender violence, civil and sectarian bloodshed within and between states and chemical warfare in Syria. Ashe called the Syrian crisis the biggest peace and security challenge in the world.

Ashe said Syria must live up to its obligations under the CWC. He said the international community must bring to justice the individuals responsible for the August chemical weapons attack and safeguard and destroy Syria's chemical arsenal.

"What matters most is what we do here - the hard work we carry out that will translate what we say on this rostrum into tangible progress for the world's people," Ashe said.

Ashe emphasized the assembly's role in resolving Syria's conflict and responding to the suffering of its people. He said many delegates pressed the U.N. Security Council for reform that would see the development of a more representative body to take swift action to end the deadly crisis.