A draft resolution presented late Thursday in the UN Security Council would apply punitive measures to any parties in the Syrian civil war that use or fail to eliminate prohibited chemical weapons, dpa reported.
The draft had been agreed by the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain - the five veto-wielding permanent council members - which handed it over to the 10 elected members.
British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the draft could be adopted by late Friday in New York if the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at The Hague had completed a technical decision to verify and destroy Syria's chemical weapons on the same day.
"If it is possible to secure a decision in The Hague tomorrow (Friday), then of course I hope that we might be able to move to a vote as early as tomorrow night here in New York as well," Grant said. "But we're in the hands of both the OPCW in The Hague, and of course all 15 members of the Security Council."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry approved earlier Thursday the draft following lengthy negotiations in New York.
"The draft resolution is in line with the Geneva framework on the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria," Lavrov said.
The draft says the council would invoke Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which allows punitive measures "in the event of non-compliance with this resolution, including unauthorized transfer of chemical weapons, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in the Syrian Republic."
The draft would declare that use of chemical weapons is a threat against international peace and security, a sentence that would also automatically trigger punitive measures.
The draft says no party in Syria would be allowed to use, develop, produce, stockpile and transfer chemical weapons.
The OPCW must agree on a mechanism for the verification and destruction of Syria's chemical weapons. The Security Council in New York is called to first approve the OPCW agreement and incorporate it into a draft resolution dealing with the situation in Syria.
"It's our hope that the work of OPCW and the UN Security Council can give life to the removal and destruction of chemical weapons in Syria," US Secretary of State John Kerry said.
US Ambassador Samantha Power, on a Twitter, confirmed the agreement, saying the draft resolution declares Syria's use of chemical weapons a "threat to international peace and security" and sets "a new norm against the use of chemical weapons."
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