President Barack Obama called for a United Nations resolution to enforce the Chemical Weapons Convention after the attack by Syrian dictator's Bashar Assad that killed 1,400 of his own people, according to U.S. intelligence.
"With respect to Syria, we believe that as a starting point, the international community must enforce the ban on chemical weapons," Obama said Tuesday in an address to the United Nations General Assembly. "When I stated my willingness to order a limited strike against the Assad regime in response to the brazen use of chemical weapons, I did not do so lightly. I did so because I believe it is in the security interest of the United States and in the interest of the world to meaningfully enforce a prohibition whose origins are older than the United Nations itself."
President Barack Obama speaks at the 68th United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 24, 2013 in New York City. More than 120 prime ministers, presidents and monarchs are gathering this week at the U.N. for the annual meeting. (Getty Images)
Obama made the remarks to the international body as the U.S. is working with Russia Assad's chemical weapons arsenal. Obama said this agreement was made possible by the threat of military force.
"The Syrian government took a first step by giving an accounting of its stockpiles. Now there must be a strong Security Council resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments, and there must be consequences if they fail to do so," Obama said. "If we cannot agree even on this, then it will show that the United Nations is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws. On the other hand, if we succeed, it will send a powerful message that the use of chemical weapons has no place in the 21st century, and that this body means what it says."