Verification and functional destruction of Syria's chemical weapons completed

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Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Verification and functional destruction activities of Syria's chemical weapons have been completed within the deadlines of 27 October and 1 November, respectively, at all 21 sites, except for two which could not be visited due to safety and security reasons.

That's what the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ahmet Üzümcü told the Executive Council on Tuesday in his latest update on the progress made in the OPCW-UN Joint Mission in Syria.

He said items from these two sites had been moved to other accessible sites and verified against the disclosure submitted by Syria. The Director-General added that "for the month of November, verification of destruction of category 3 chemical weapons [unfilled munitions] will continue, and destruction of specialized equipment and buildings at production, mixing and filling plants is also envisaged."

Category 3 chemical weapons are unfilled munitions. As of Tuesday 5 November, Syria has reported the destruction of 99 such warheads at one site, with another 55 warheads expected to be destroyed at a second site. Similar destruction work has begun at five other sites.

Referring to the general plan for destruction of its chemical weapons programme submitted by Syria, the Director-General stated that Syria's proposal "that the destruction of chemical weapons be carried out outside of the country constitutes the most viable option." He noted that Syria's proposal was based on "practical challenges of carrying out destruction work in the midst of an armed conflict," as well as on "resource limitations."

The Director-General added that discussions aimed at finalizing plans for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria would commence soon with the participation of a Syrian delegation in The Hague.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration:  1’38″

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