Delays in removal of Syria chemical arsenal not "insurmountable", says KaagListen /
The delays regarding Syria's chemical weapons elimination and destruction programme are not "insurmountable" according to a top UN official.
Sigrid Kaag, the Special Coordinator of the Joint Mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations made the remarks on Thursday, following her briefing to the Security Council.
Logistical and technical challenges, including the volatile security situation in Syria have affected the original timelines, Ms. Kaag noted.
"The deadline of 30th of June 2014 we have stated and reiterated by the Secretary-General can be met. That is an important one. Intermediate milestones ideally should have been met. They have not been met- there are delays. What we are now doing is to ensure that a plan will be available against which further benchmarking can take place which allows for planning, preparation, swift implementation. We also know there is an acceleration of effort and there can be an intensification of effort and that is our call, and that is also what we state and what we work on with Syrian authorities. There is a clear expectation."
Ms. Kaag said she will be travelling to Syria to work with her team to ensure that "everything is done", from verification to inspection.
She also will be monitoring in-country based destructions in addition to the removal of Syria's chemical arsenal, a big part of the elimination programme.
Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.