UN: Destruction of Syria chemical weapons nearly complete


UNITED NATIONS: The process of destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile is nearing completion, with only two remaining depots yet to be destroyed, a United Nations official said Wednesday.

Acting United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Kim Won-soo, said after a closed-door session of the United Nations Security Council that ten out of 12 facilities have already been destroyed and the remaining two will also be eliminated.

However, he said there were some logistics problems that were being addressed, including the shortages of explosives.

The 12 chemical weapons production facilities in Syria included seven depots and five underground structures.

In his report at the UNSC in August, Ahmet Uzumcu, the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said the remaining two depots were inaccessible due to the security situation.

On Wednesday, the UNSC held a regular monthly closed-door meeting on the problems of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. According to diplomats, the meeting focused on preparations for the launch of a joint mechanism of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to establish those responsible for chemical attacks in Syria, which is to be set up under resolution 2235 adopted in August.

Kim said this mechanism would be completely formed by the end of October but an agreement was to be signed with the Syrian government to establish the status of a mission.

On August 7, the UNSC unanimously adopted resolution 2235 on establishment of an OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism to identify the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic.

On September 10, recommendations of the United Nations Secretary General on the structure and organization of the mission’s work were adopted. The mission is to have limited presence in Syria due to security considerations.

The mission will be headquartered in New York. The head office will deal with planning and legal issues. Another office will be located in The Hague. It will conduct chemical and medical analysis, forensic studies and examine fragments of shells presumably used in chemical attacks.PNA/TASS


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