Syria’s Chemical Weapons: OPCW Reports Missing Declarations

Source The United Nations



Media – Deputy High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Adedeji Ebo, today (8 Aug) told the Security Council that the Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) “has yet to receive from the Syrian Arab Republic, any declarations or document requested.”

Briefing the Council the on the elimination of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program, Ebo said the missing declarations or documents include “the complete declaration of activities at the Scientific Studies and Research Center or SSRC and the declaration of quantities of nerve agents produced at one chemical weapons production facility that was declared by the Syrian Arab Republic as never having been used to produce chemical weapons.”

The official emphasized that any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and said, “Considering the identified gaps, inconsistencies, and discrepancies that remain unresolved, at this time the OPCW Technical Secretariat assesses that the declaration submitted by the Syrian Arab Republic still cannot be considered accurate and complete in conduct following the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

In her briefing to the Council, United States Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, “We now know that the regime never planned to comply with the CWC and that it willfully hid chemical weapons from the OPCW. In fact, since the ceding to the CWC in September of 2013, the UN and OPCW’s investigative merchandise confirmed Syria used chemical weapons against its people in nine subsequent attacks.”

For his part, Syrian Ambassador Alhakam Dandy said, “The US continues its attempts to exploit the chemical weapons file to serve their agenda of hostility against Syria. Available information shows that its military forces, which are illegally situated in At Tanf, have given the so-called Nusra Army or terrorist group, essentially provided them with toxic chemical substances and trained them in their use to stage the use of these weapons and accuse Syria.”

The Syrian Arab Republic became a State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) — and a Member State of the OPCW — in October 2013. As a result of a joint OPCW-UN mission (October 2013 – September 2014) in cooperation with the Syrian government, all of the chemical weapons declared by Syria were removed and verifiably destroyed outside of its territory. However, questions about the completeness of Syria’s declaration remain.


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