OPCW Director-General briefs UN Security Council on Syrian chemical dossier

The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, briefed in an open session the United Nations Security Council and senior UN officials on issues related to chemical weapons and Syria on 3 June.

During his online address to the monthly meeting of the UN Security Council, the Director-General stated: “The Syrian Arab Republic acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention in September 2013, one month after the sarin attack in Ghouta that claimed several hundreds of lives, investigated by a UN Mission. Since then, the OPCW Secretariat has been providing ample information to the Conference of the States Parties and the Executive Council of the OPCW, as well as to the Security Council, through the United Nations Secretary General, and through monthly reports and direct briefings by myself. It is a disturbing reality that, eight years down the path, the Syrian chemical weapons dossier remains far from closed. (…) All the mandates given through the Convention and decisions by the OPCW Conference of the States Parties and Executive Council concerning the Syrian chemical dossier remain binding on all States Parties, and also on the Secretariat. Our work therefore continues on multiple fronts, including through engagement with Syria.”

UN officials expressed their support for the objectives of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the work of the OPCW.

Background

As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.

Over 98% of all declared chemical weapon stockpiles have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

Director-General Arias has previously briefed the Security Council on three occasions: on 7 November 2019, on 12 May 2020, and on 11 December 2020.

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