SC: Syria - Chemical Weapons

Statement made by Political Coordinator Meena Syed in the Security Council meeting on chemical weapons in Syria, 7 November 2022.

Thank you High Representative Nakamitsu for your briefing on progress in the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons program. Norway reaffirms its full confidence in the work of Director-General Arias, and the OPCW Technical Secretariat.

It is regrettable that the Council meets again with no new positive developments in the Syrian dossier. Let me be clear in saying that this trend is simply unsustainable. The international prohibition against the use of chemical weapons must remain a top priority. The lack of accountability and the deterioration of trust reminds us of the urgency of this issue. The Council cannot be silent amid such a prolonged stasis.

We call on Syria to fulfil its obligations in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention and Security Council Resolution 2118. And we reiterate our strong condemnation of all use of chemical weapons, anytime, by anyone.

Syria must give immediate attention to full cooperation with the OPCW and the resolution of the 20 outstanding issues. We urge Syria to provide sufficient technical information or explanations to reconcile the identified gaps, inconsistencies, and discrepancies. Similarly, 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 conclude by reiterating our support for all necessary preparations to be made for a meeting between Director General Arias and Minister Mekdad at the earliest convenience. Cooperation and dialogue is key to invigorating the process.