United Nations (CNN) — The U.N. Security Council, capping a dramatic month of diplomacy, voted unanimously late Friday to require Syria to eliminate its arsenal of chemical weapons.
Members of the council met shortly after another international group voted to fast-track Syria’s addition to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans such weapons.
Syria announced this month that it was willing to join the agreement.
The executive committee of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, meeting in the Netherlands, adopted its measure by consensus in about 10 minutes.
“We now have a legal mandate to start a verification mission in Syria,” said group spokesman Michael Luhan.
U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking before the votes, said he was “very hopeful” about the developments, but warned much work remains to be done.
“I think, rightly, people have been concerned about whether Syria will follow through on the commitments that have been laid forth and I think there are legitimate concerns as to how technically we are going to be getting those chemical weapons out while there’s still fighting going on the ground,” Obama said.