Senior UN official to head Syria chemical weapons Joint Mission

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Sigrid Kaag, newly-appointed Special Coordinator of the OPCW -UN Joint Mission on eliminating Syria's chemical weapons programme. UN Photo/Mark Garten

A Joint Mission aimed at bringing about the timely elimination of chemical weapons in Syria was established on Wednesday by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations.

Senior UN official Sigrid Kaag has been appointed Special Coordinator for the Joint Mission, which will continue the work undertaken by both organizations in Syria since the beginning of this month.

Her role will include ensuring access and security for the OPCW inspectors, as well as logistical, communications, medical, administrative and policy support

Ms. Kaag spoke to reporters in New York on Wednesday after being introduced by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

"I'm deeply honoured and I'm mostly humbled to be entrusted with this very complex and challenging assignment. I'll be travelling to The Hague on Friday evening for first consultations and guidance and discussions with the Director-General of OPCW. That may be a first opportunity then to have an encounter with the media, and obviously we need your full support as the Secretary-General has outlined."   (21″)

Ms. Kaag, who is from The Netherlands, has served with various UN agencies, with a particular focus on the Middle East and North Africa.

She is fluent in Arabic.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’13″

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