Syria: no justification for chemical weapon use, UN says

The UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, delivering her speech to the UN Security Council The UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, delivering her speech to the UN Security Council UN

05 November 2020

The UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs reiterated that the use of chemical weapons is unjustifiable

Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations’ High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, briefed the Security Council on progress made by Syria in dismantling its chemical weapons program, which has been made more complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of chemical weapons, forbidden by the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), is unjustifiable under any circumstance, as Ms Nakamitsu reiterated. 

According to the UN representative, the declaration submitted by Syria to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – whose mission is to implement the CWC’s provisions – is incomplete and full of discrepancies, as underlined by OPCW’s technical secretariat. 

The OPCW has been continuing its activities in spite of the many difficulties and obstacles posed by the pandemic. Depending on the pandemic’s course, the OPCW is still willing to conduct two rounds of inspections of the Barzah and Jamrayah facilities of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Centre. As the UN representative for disarmament Ms Nakamitsu underlined, the international community’s confidence in the complete dismantlement of Syria’s chemical weapon program depends upon the effectiveness of OPCW’s work. However, the organization has been trying to solve these outstanding issues since 2014 and the lack of transparency proved by Syrian authorities has always represented an obstacle to its activity. 

 

To read more, please visit:

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/11/1077002

https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/briefing-security-council-implementation-security-council-resolution

https://www.opcw.org/fact-finding-mission

 

Author: Margherita Curti; Editor: Matteo Consiglio

 

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