Syria Chemical Weapons Agreement

Syria has ratified the CWC a month after a chemical weapons attack on several suburbs of the capital Damascus, involving the nerve sarin, which left hundreds dead. The horrific images of victims of torment shocked the world. Western powers said the attack could only have been carried out by the government, but Mr. Assad blamed the opposition. In October 2016, the OPCW verified that approximately 90% of the world`s 72,304-tonne stockpiles of chemicals had been destroyed [22], including 90% of the stockpile of 33,600 tonnes of chemicals declared in the United States, in accordance with commitments made by States Parties to fully disarm. Western officials, such as British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, had expressed concern about the completeness of the Syrian revelations and said that the OPCW mission should be maintained after the withdrawal of chemical weapons until verification tasks could be completed. [20] A belated revelation in 2014 of Syria`s ricin program raised doubts about the completeness of the government`s statement on its chemical arsenal,[21] and in early May 2015, the OPCW announced that inspectors had found traces of sarin and VX nerve agents at a military search site in Syria that had not previously been reported by the Assad regime. [23] Syria appeared to bomb Khan Shaykhun with sarin in April 2017. [24] A chemical attack on Douma on 7 April 2018, which killed at least 49 civilians and injured dozens more, has been blamed on the Assad government,[25] although the Syrian government denies the allegations. However, the lack of a accountability mechanism for those who used chemical weapons was deeply worrisome and the lack of a step towards accountability, she noted.

The closure of the joint United Nations-OPCW investigative mechanism – tasked with identifying the perpetrators – has encouraged those who wanted to carry out further attacks. Anyone using chemical weapons must be identified and brought to justice, she insisted. She reiterated the Secretary-General`s call for the Council to commit to working together to find a common approach to solving this problem and said that the use of toxic chemicals such as chlorine as a weapon was totally unacceptable to each side in all circumstances. Humanitarian principles and all relevant international standards for disarmament and non-proliferation, in particular the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Manufacturing, Storage and Use of Chemical Weapons and their Destruction – known as the Chemical Weapons Convention – must be fully respected. These prohibitions date back to the end of the 19th century [20] and were last articulated and developed in the 1993 CAC, which came into force in 1997. The CAC prohibits the use, development, production, stockpiling and transfer of chemical weapons and has established the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for their implementation [21]. The CAC commits the parties to destroy all existing chemical weapons and production facilities as part of an international review; monitor the chemical industry to prevent the emergence of new weapons; To help and protect States Parties from chemical threats; and promote the peaceful use of chemistry.