Gilmore to call for perpetrators of Syria gas attack to be tried

Tanaiste will tell UN general assembly that International Criminal Court should be used

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore will call for those responsible for the deadly gas attack in Syria last month to be brought before the International Criminal Court when he speaks to the UN general assembly today.

In an address marking the end of a five-day trip to New York, Mr Gilmore will describe the US-Russian agreement reached at the UN this week aimed at ridding Syria of chemical weapons as a “watershed in the international engagement on crisis.”

"It offers renewed hope and confidence that the UN is capable of discharging its responsibilities and meeting the aspirations and expectations of the peoples of the world," he will say in a speech made available by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in advance of the address at 4pm today.

Mr Gilmore will say the International Criminal Court exists precisely for the purpose of holding those accountable for atrocities such as the sarin gas attack on a Damascus suburb that killed 1,429 people.


“We owe it to the Syrian people to ensure that those responsible for the war crimes committed against them are brought to justice,” he will tell the UN gathering of world leaders.

Mr Gilmore will say that Ireland looks to the UN security council "to show leadership in response to international crisis," saying that the council had a "special responsibility" to work towards the UN charter.

"When the United Nations fails, or delays action, we are all poorer for such setbacks," he will say.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who was in New York this week, praised Ireland's development work to combat global poverty.

“Ireland’s continued leadership on international development is a great testament to its commitment to the world’s poorest, despite tough economic times at home,” he said.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is The Irish Times’s Public Affairs Editor and former Washington correspondent