Focus – Chemical weapons in Syria
(September 2016)

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Overview of the latest UN and EU documents, publications of the Consortium and publications from the network regarding the chemical weapons issue (use, stockpile, terrorism, destruction) in Syria.

“United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today submitted a joint UN-Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) report to the Security Council outlining in-depth investigation into, as well as the findings, assessments and conclusions of, nine selected cases related to incidents involving the use of chemicals weapons in Syria.

According to a statement issued today by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, the UN chief is looking forward to the Council’s consideration of the report.

The report will be available publicly shortly thereafter, the statement added.

The methods of work and the investigation of the specific cases are described in the report’s annexes.

According to the statement, the UN chief also expressed appreciation to the Joint Investigative Mechanism’s Leadership Panel and its staff, as well as to the OPCW and the Office for Disarmament Affairs for their continued support to the Mechanism.

He further thanked the Member States of the UN for their assistance to the Mechanism, including financial support.

The joint body, established by the Security Council in August 2015 for a period of one year with a possibility of future extension, is tasked with identifying “individuals, entities, groups, or governments involved in the use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical,” in Syria, according to the Council, which reiterated that those responsible must be held accountable.

That body differs from the OPCW-UN Joint Mission on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons, and which was formally established in August 2013. It completed its mandate and wrapped up operations on 30 September 2014. From now on, the OPCW mission in Syria will continue to deal with the destruction of chemical weapon production facilities and clarification of certain aspects of the Syrian initial declaration under the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

UN chief submits report related to use of chemical weapons in Syria to the Security Council, UN News Center, 24 August 2016

UN official documents and resources online

  • Interview: The Syrian Airforce and ISIL used toxic chemicals as weapons, according to a new report issued on Tuesday by an “independent, impartial, and objective” Leadership Panel, mandated by the UN Security Council, 30 August 2016
  • UNSC Resolution 2235 (2015)
  • OPCW-UN Joint Mission website. The OPCW-UN Joint Mission on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons has completed its mandate and its operations drew to a close on 30 September 2014. From there on, the OPCW mission in Syria will continue to deal with the destruction of chemical weapon production facilities and clarification of certain aspects of the Syrian initial declaration.

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