OPCW adopts decision to destroy Syria's chemical weaponsListen /
The Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Friday adopted a historic decision on the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.
In a special session, the 41-member body agreed on an accelerated programme for achieving the complete elimination of Syria's chemical weapons by mid-2014. The decision requires inspections in Syria to commence from 1 October 2013.
The decision also calls for ambitious milestones for destruction which will be set by the Council by 15 November.
The Executive Council decision was informed by the Framework Agreement reached by the Russian Federation and the United States of America in Geneva on 14 September. It also facilitates the request by Syria that the Convention be applied ahead of its formal entry into force for Syria on 14 October.
The OPCW Director-General warmly welcomed the decision by the Council. He assured States Parties of the Technical Secretariat's readiness to commence its work in Syria immediately.
"This decision sends an unmistakable message that the international community is coming together to work for peace in Syria, beginning with the elimination of chemical weapons in that country", he said.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.