UN chemical weapons body slam Syrian regime for lack of cooperation
The United Nations’ Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said the Syrian regime, notorious for its use of chemical weapons, had obstructed them in their work.
The United Nations’ Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has slammed the Syrian regime for failing to cooperate with its mission to end chemical weapons use.
Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, said that there were 20 outstanding issues that Damascus – notorious for its use of chemical weapons – must resolve.
“Syria must change its attitude and cooperate fully with the body charged with verifying its compliance with international law governing chemical weapons,” Nakamitsu told the UN Security Council on Thursday.
The OPCW say they have been “actively involved” in Syria since the country’s accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013.
The body has found that authorities have used chemical weapons against citizens on at least eight occasions since then.
The regime has obstructed the OPCW in its work, refused to provide a visa to a member of its OPCW Declaration Assessment Team, and continues to place conditions on staff deployment, the UN body said.
Damascus has also continuously refused to provide information relating to its initial declaration, the body said.
This includes providing information to the technical secretariat regarding the unauthorised movement of two cylinders related to the regime’s deadly chemical weapons attack on Douma in 2018.
To assist Syria in resolving the outstanding issues with its initial declaration, the technical secretariat has provided Damascus with a list of information requested by the team since 2019, Nakamitsu said.
Syria has been embroiled in a brutal conflict since 2011, when the Assad regime pursued a deadly crackdown on pro-democracy activists.
Over 500,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced since.
Source: The New Arab
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