Ban called for handling any action against the Syrian regime within the framework of the United Nations charter. "For any course of actions in the future, depending upon the outcome of a scientific analysis will have to be considered by the Security Council for any action, and that's my appeal, that everything should be handled within the framework of the United Nations charter," Ban told UN reporters during a news conference.

"The use of force is lawful only when -- in exercise of self- defence in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations charter, and/or when the Security Council approves such action. That is the principle of the United Nations," he said in response to a question.

"If confirmed, any use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances will be a serious violation of international law and outrageous war crime," Ban told reporters at a news conference at the UN headquarters in New York.

He also warned that a military strike against Syria could unleash more turmoil and bloodshed in a crisis that has already killed more than 100,000 people.

"I take note of the argument for action to prevent a future use of chemical weapons. At the same time, we must consider the impact of any punitive measure on efforts to prevent further bloodshed and facilitate the political resolution of the conflict," Ban said.

"Almost a century ago, following the horrors of first world war, the international community acted to ban the use of these weapons of mass destruction. Our common humanity compels us to ensure that chemical weapons do not become a tool of war or terror in the 21st century," he said.

"Any perpetrators must be brought to justice. There should be no impunity," Ban said before leaving for Russia to attend the G-20 Summit.

Earlier, he briefed members of the Security Council on the status of investigation into the use of chemical weapons on Syria. The team of investigators returned on Saturday and now they are in the process of testing the samples.

"I'll call for the mission to give every opportunity to complete its task. The United Nations investigation is uniquely placed to independently establish the facts in an objective and impartial manner. Its work will be conducted strictly according to internationally recognized standard," he noted.

Ban in his remarks called on the members of the Security Council "to unite and develop an appropriate response" should the allegations of use prove to be true. "The Security Council has a duty to move beyond the current stalemate and should leadership. This is a larger issue than the conflict in Syria. This is about our collective responsibility to humankind," he said.


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