Syria's Obligations towards OPCW Met

The OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, has recently reported to the Executive Council that 100% of all Category 1 chemicals declared by the Syrian Arab Republic, totaling approximately 1,040 tonnes, have now been verified as destroyed.  This includes 133 tonnes of Isopropanol previously destroyed on-site in Syria.

According to a statement by OPCW, the Director-General reported OPCW inspectors have also verified that 70% of approximately 260 tonnes of Syria’s Category 2 chemicals have been destroyed as well, and in total, 94% of its entire declared stockpile. He said work continues to complete destruction of remaining chemicals at four facilities in Finland, the United Kingdom, the United States and eventually, the destruction of effluent from the Cape Ray in Germany.

“I wish to acknowledge, once again, the valuable contributions made by the States Parties involved in this extraordinary effort, especially in carrying out destruction of Category 1 chemicals in a rapid, effective and safe manner,” the Director-General said.

The Special Coordinator for the OPCW-UN Joint Mission, Ms Sigrid Kaag, also addressed the Executive Council meeting and praised the international efforts to disarm Syria.

“This operation has been an exemplary model of multilaterism at work,” Ms Kaag said. “We all have shown what can be achieved when all international partners work together towards a common goal.”

Other issues reported to the Council meeting regarding the ongoing mission in Syria:

  • The OPCW-UN Joint Mission in Syria will conclude its work on 30 September 2014. The UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) will henceforth provide the necessary administrative, logistical and procurement support as well as ensure, along with the UN Department of Safety and Security, that necessary security arrangements are in place by 30 September.
  • The OPCW and Syrian Government are jointly undertaking the necessary preparations to begin destroying 12 structures that formerly housed chemical weapons destruction facilities. Destruction activities are scheduled to get underway in September.
  • Work continues by the OPCW’s Declaration Assessment Team, assigned to clarify discrepancies and anomalies in Syria’s initial declaration of its chemical weapons programme. The Fact Finding Mission continues to collect information to establish facts surrounding the allegations of the use of chlorine in Syria.

As a farewell visit, Sigrid Kaag  met earlier with Foreain and Expatriates Minister, Walid Al-Moallem and with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Dr. Faisal Mikdad. The Talks focused at th the achievements and the significant progress realized in the framework of Syria's implementation of its obligations after its accession to the Chemical Weapons prohibition organization.

Dr. Mikdad underscored that  that closing of the file of chemicals in Syrian would not be achieved without Syria's seriousness in dealing with it  at the instructions of President Bashar Al-Assad, as to meet the Syria  obligations towards the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Miss Kaag expressed satisfaction with this great achievement that has been made and gratitude for the constructive and  fruitful cooperation provided by the Syrian government: " This unprecedent achievement is in the history of Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, would not be attained without the efforts and cooperation of the Syrian government with the joint mission. " she declared.

M.A.

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