Syria’s continued failure to remedy outstanding issues prevents the international community from confirming the elimination of its chemical weapons program, a top United Nations (UN) disarmament official told the Security Council on Friday.
During the Security Council meeting, members traded allegations that the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is being politicized to suit national interests.
Izumi Nakamitsu, the high representative for disarmament affairs, expressed regret that there has been little to no change in the past month on issues related to the Syrian chemical weapons file.
Nakamitsu said that it is unfortunate that, today, many of the Chemical Weapons Convention’s historical accomplishments have been overshadowed by the continued use of chemical weapons.
“No example showcases that better than the numerous instances of such use in Syria, which OPCW continues to document despite that country’s accession to the Convention,” Izumi expressed.
According to the UN news center, the OPCW has yet to receive certain requested information from Syria. The deployment of its Declaration Assessment Team has been delayed due to the country’s continued refusal to issue an entry visa for one of the team’s team experts.
Izumi underscored that until these outstanding issues are closed, the international community cannot have full confidence that Syria’s chemical weapons program has been eliminated.
Meanwhile, a Russian representative affirmed that OPCW’s reports on Syria have long been built on the “presumption of guilt”.
He stated that the OPCW: “Has turned into a tool to punish those who do not suit Western countries and, if the situation is not rectified, OPCW will completely lose its authority.”