The UN on Monday admitted its "feeble condemnations and paralyzed Security Council" in the wake of a deadly chemical attack in Douma, Syria, that reportedly killed dozens of civilians including women and children.
At least 78 civilians were killed after Eastern Ghouta's Douma district was targeted in an attack in which poison gas appears to have been used, according to the White Helmets civil defense agency.
"Reports suggesting yet another deadly chemical attack may have been carried out in Syria on Saturday in the town of Douma highlight the impotence of the international response to earlier attacks alleged to have been carried out in Syria," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement on Monday.
The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting later Monday on Syria following the attack in Douma.
"Empty words, feeble condemnations, and a Security Council paralyzed by the use of the veto. The world - and in particular the veto-wielding states on the Security Council -- need to wake up, and wake up fast, to the irreparable damage that is being done to one of the most important planks of global arms control and prevention of human suffering," he said.
On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which called for a month-long ceasefire in Syria -- especially in Eastern Ghouta -- to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Home to some 400,000 people, the district has remained the target of a crippling regime siege for the last five years that has rendered the delivery of humanitarian supplies almost impossible.