Removal of chemical weapons in Syria complete

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Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the Joint Mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

A major milestone has been reached with the "100 per cent removal" of Syria's declared chemical weapons material, according to the Special Coordinator of the joint mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations.

The focus in recent weeks had been on removing the remaining 7.2 per cent of the chemical weapon agents which had been difficult owing to the ongoing insecurity.

Ms Sigrid Kaag said she hoped it would be a "modest but meaningful contribution to peace and security in Syria".

"So it is an important day. Notwithstanding of course, it's also important to reflect on the progress that was achieved over the course of the implementation of this very critical mandate. All of Syria's declared chemical weapons programme barring some residual activities has been accomplished. I think it is very important for the international community, from a non-proliferation perspective but we also hope this will be a modest but meaningful contribution to peace and security in Syria."  (29″)

Syria has also destroyed all declared production, mixing and filling equipment and munitions, as well as many buildings associated with its declared chemical weapons programme.

With the exception of 12 production facilities that are awaiting a decision by the OPCW Executive Council, all of the declared Syrian chemical weapons programme has been eliminated.

The removal of the chemical agents out of Syria involved shipping them on commercial vessels provided by some Member States, and then loading them onto a United States ship and destroying them at sea using hydrolysis.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’42″

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