UN / SYRIA CHEMICAL WEAPONS

06-Apr-2021 00:01:43
UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu said much work remains to be done before Security Council Resolution 2118 can be considered implemented and stressed that the use of Chemical weapons “must always be seen as a clear violation of a deeply held taboo.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / SYRIA CHEMICAL WEAPONS
TRT: 1:43
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 06 APRIL 2021, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN flag outside headquarters

06 APRIL 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Multiple screens, participants in Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations:
“As a result of the identified gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies that remain unresolved, the OPCW technical secretariat continues to assess that, at this stage, the declarations submitted by the Syrian Arab Republic cannot be considered accurate and complete in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention. As has been stressed on multiple occasions, engagement and dialogue by the Syrian Arab Republic with the OPCW technical secretariat is critical to closing these outstanding issues.”
4. Multiple screens, participants in Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations:
“As long as the use of chemical weapons continues or the threat of their use remains, we must retain our focus on preventing those threats and not allow ourselves to become inured to them. Unity in the Security Council is required to re-establish the norm against chemical weapons. The vitality and credibility of the broader disarmament and non-proliferation architecture depends upon it. The use of these weapons must always be seen as a clear violation of a deeply held taboo. Accordingly, the identification and accountability of those responsible is imperative.”
6. Multiple screens, participants in Security Council
STORYLINE
UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu said much work remains to be done before Security Council Resolution 2118 can be considered implemented and stressed that the use of Chemical weapons “must always be seen as a clear violation of a deeply held taboo.”

Speaking today (06 Apr) at a virtual meeting of the Security Council on the implementation of the resolution, which set a framework for the elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons, Nakamitsu said she was in regular contact with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on its activities related to the matter, and recently met with the Syrian ambassador to the UN, who reaffirmed his Government’s commitment to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and cooperation with the OPCW Technical Secretariat.

Nakamitsu said efforts to clarify remaining outstanding issues regarding Syria’s initial declaration to OPCW are ongoing, adding the OPCW Declaration Assessment Team (DAT) conducted technical meetings with representatives of the Syrian Government in Damascus in February; during which it visited three sites and conducted interviews regarding outstanding issues.

The High Representative said DAT shared with authorities the results of the analysis of samples collected in September 2020 and received preliminary comments from Syrian technical experts regarding chemical identified in these samples, some of which were unexpected.

Nakamitsu said as a result of the “identified gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies that remain unresolved, the OPCW technical secretariat continues to assess that, at this stage, the declarations submitted by the Syrian Arab Republic cannot be considered accurate and complete in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention.” She stressed that “engagement and dialogue by the Syrian Arab Republic with the OPCW Technical Secretariat is critical to closing these outstanding issues.”

The High Representative said the OPCW Fact Finding Mission (FFM) remains in process of studying all available information related to allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria and continues its engagement with the Syrian Government and other states parties to the CWC with regards to a variety of incidents.

Nakamitsu reiterated her full support for the integrity, professionalism, impartiality, objectivity and independence of the work of the OPCW.

The High Representative underscored that, although almost 8 years have passed since Resolution 2118 was adopted, much work remains to be done before it can be considered implemented.

She said, “As long as the use of chemical weapons continues or the threat of their use remains, we must retain our focus on preventing those threats and not allow ourselves to become inured to them. Unity in the Security Council is required to re-establish the norm against chemical weapons. The vitality and credibility of the broader disarmament and non-proliferation architecture depends upon it. The use of these weapons must always be seen as a clear violation of a deeply held taboo. Accordingly, the identification and accountability of those responsible is imperative.”

Nakamitsu echoed Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in saying that after a decade of war, many Syrians have lost confidence that the international community can help them forge an agreed path out of the conflict. She said the war in Syria is not only Syria’s war, and ending it, and the tremendous suffering it continues to cause, is the world’s collective responsibility.
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