The Secretary-General today transmitted advance copies of the seventh report of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism to the Security Council, pursuant to Security Council resolutions 2235 (2015) and 2319 (2016). The report provides the assessments and findings by the Leadership Panel of the Mechanism in relation to the two cases investigated by the Mechanism: the use of sulfur mustard in Umm Hawsh on 15 and 16 September 2016 and the use of sarin in Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017.
The Secretary-General looks forward to the Security Council’s consideration of the Mechanism’s report on 7 November.
The Secretary-General reiterates his full confidence in the professionalism, impartiality and objectivity of the Mechanism and thanks the Leadership Panel and staff of the Mechanism for their hard work and dedication. The Secretary-General appreciates the continued support of the OPCW and the Office for Disarmament Affairs to the Mechanism, as well as assistance, including financial support, by Member States.
Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General
New York, 26 October 2017
I continue to follow the situation in Syria closely and with grave concern.
I was abhorred by the chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria, and the death and injury of many innocent civilians.
I have long stated that there needs to be accountability for such crimes, in line with existing international norms and Security Council resolutions.
I have been following reports of the air strikes against the Shayrat Airbase in Syria conducted by the United States.
Mindful of the risk of escalation, I appeal for restraint to avoid any acts that could deepen the suffering of the Syrian people.
These events underscore my belief that there is no other way to solve the conflict than through a political solution. I call on the parties to urgently renew their commitment to making progress in the Geneva talks.
A political solution also remains essential for progress in the fight against terrorism.
The Security Council has the primary responsibility for international peace and security. I call on the Council to unite and exercise that responsibility.
For too long, international law has been ignored in the Syrian conflict, and it is our shared duty to uphold international standards of humanity. This is a prerequisite to ending the unrelenting suffering of the people of Syria.
United Nations – The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon has urged all states to focus on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in order to “prevent the human, environmental and existential destruction these weapons can cause”. Mr. Ban was speaking during a UN Security Council debate on August 24, 2016, on challenges in addressing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), at which he referred to the existence of a more fluid and dangerous global strategic context for disarmament.
The Security Council today decided to establish for one year a Joint Investigative Mechanism of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which would identify “to the greatest extent feasible” individuals, entities, groups or Governments perpetrating, organizing, sponsoring or otherwise involved in the use of chemicals as weapons in Syria. Continue reading →
One year ago today the horrific chemical weapons attack in Ghouta shocked the conscience of the world. The Secretary-General once again conveys his deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones and calls on the international community to remember those who perished in this inhumane act. Continue reading →
The Conference of the States Parties at its Tenth Session decided that a memorial Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare would be observed on 29 April each year — the date in 1997 on which the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force. Continue reading →
Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi met with Syrian President al-Assad in Damascus on 30 October as part of his ongoing tour in the Middle East to garner support for convening the Geneva II conference. On the eve of the meeting, he held consultations with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem. In a media briefing at Headquarters, the Spokesperson said that Mr. Brahimi was also scheduled to meet with opposition groups as well as civil society and women’s groups while in Syria. Continue reading →
On 11 October, the Security Council formally approved the setting up of an unprecedented OPCW-UN Joint Mission to eliminate the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic proposed by the Secretary-General and to deploy up to 100 personnel from both organizations to implement Security Council resolution 2118 (2013). Continue reading →
6 October, the joint team of inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations began the process of eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons. Under the supervision of experts from the OPCW, supported by the UN, Syrian personnel started to destroy or disable a range of items, including missile warheads, aerial bombs Continue reading →
The joint OPCW-UN team mandated to assist Syria with the elimination of its chemical weapons programme has made encouraging initial progress, following the first working day of meetings with the Syrian authorities. Documents handed over yesterday by the Syrian Government look promising, according to team members, but further analysis, particularly of technical diagrams, will be necessary and some more Continue reading →