I would like to thank High Representative Nakamitsu for her briefing on the progress towards full elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons program. As we mark the 25th anniversary of entry into force of the CWC, let me express Norway's full commitment to its provisions. Together, the CWC and the OPCW represent a milestone in global disarmament. Yet, clearly this work must continue.
We call for the immediate ratification or accession to the CWC by the States who have not yet done so.
Once again, this Council meets with few developments to report in the Syrian chemical weapons dossier. It is particularly regrettable that the deployment of the Declaration Assessment Team to Syria- which had been proposed for earlier in April- did not occur. We do note the plans for a limited round of consultations in Lebanon, and we urge positive progress to be made towards cooperation and discussions on the way forward.
However, we would also like to underline that Resolution 2118 explicitly mentions Syria’s obligations to: accept personnel designated by the OPCW; to provide these personnel with immediate and unfettered access; and their right to inspect any and all sites. It is vital to return to regular deployments of the DAT, with entry visas issued to all DAT experts.
The Syrian Arab Republic must fulfil its obligations in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention and Security Council Resolution 2118. Norway urges Syria to fully cooperate with the OPCW, and to provide sufficient technical information and explanations to close the 20 outstanding issues. It is critical that Syria completes the necessary measures to lift the suspension of its rights and privileges as a State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Let me close by underlining that accountability must be ensured for those responsible for the use of chemical weapons. Norway remains steadfastly confident in the work of Director-General Arias and the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW. We firmly reject any efforts to discredit their important work.