UN chief proposes establishment of mission to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons

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Ahmet Üzümcü

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has proposed the establishment of a joint mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.

In a letter to the Security Council on Monday afternoon, he says the mission is aimed at achieving the timely elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons programmes in the safest and most secure manner possible.

UN spokesperson Farhan Haq has more.

"The Secretary-General says that the joint mission will be headed by a civilian Special Coordinator, whom he would appoint in close consultation with the Director General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He writes that the joint mission will build upon the deployment of the advance team currently in Syria and will expand to a staff of approximately 100 personnel. He notes that, given the operating environment, the joint mission will establish a "light footprint" in Syria, only deploying to Syria those personnel whose presence is necessary in the country to perform their tasks."

In related news, Syria on Friday submitted additional information updating its initial disclose, according to the Director General of OPCW, Ahmet Üzümcü.

Speaking at the opening of the new session of the OPCW, Mr. Üzümcü reported that on 6 October, Syrian officials started destroying chemical weapons and disabling or destroying a range of items.

He said the goal of those efforts is to render unusable all production facilities and mixing and filling equipment by 1 November of this year.

Dianne Penn, United Nations

Duration: 1’31″

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