UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane on Disarming Syria

As the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane has been a driving force in finding and destroying Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons. (Reuters/Mahmoud Hebbo)


Angela Kane is at the forefront of efforts to disarm Syria, leading the negotiations that have led to the ongoing process to identify and destroy the Assad regime's chemical weapons stockpile and directing the teams investigating the use of such weapons. She shares her thoughts on the hunt for Assad's weapons of mass destruction and the quest for a nuclear weapons-free Iran.

Angela Kane, the woman who helped the UN prove chemical weapons were used in Syria, recalls the successes and missed opportunities that haunt her.


Angela Kane has been on the
forefront of efforts to disarm
Syria. (AP/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

"The images from this massacre are sickening: Men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas. Others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath. A father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk. On that terrible night, the world saw in gruesome detail the terrible nature of chemical weapons, and why the overwhelming majority of humanity has declared them off-limits -- a crime against humanity, and a violation of the laws of war."

US President, Barack Obama

President Barack Obama made a powerful case for a U.S. strike on Syria following what appeared to be a poison gas attack on the town of Ghouta.

As targets were selected in Washington, Russia floated an idea for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons if the U.S. called off an attack. Syria agreed and the attacks never came.

Missed Opportunity in Syria Haunts U.N. Official —┬áThe New York Times

Tensions remain high however, as just this week, Syria's deputy foreign minister warns more money and equipment will be needed to destroy the chemical stockpile. Angela Kane is watching events with a particularly keen interest.

"We need to stop modernizing armaments. We need to start renovating tenements instead. The UN charter offers the best blueprint for peace."

Angela Kane, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

As the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane oversaw the UN investigation into the use of poisonous gas during the Syrian civil war. Her office is still involved in the hunt for those weapons.

Angela Kane was in our Ottawa studio.

Share your thoughts on this conversation. What do you think of the UN's role in disarming Syria?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.

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