Joint Statement by Current and Former EU Members of the UNSC (Germany, Belgium France, Estonia, Poland) and the UK on the IID meeting of the UNSC on Syria Chemical Weapons May 12, 2020

12.05.2020 - Press release

Check Against Delivery

The members of the EU currently or previously on the UNSC (BE, EE, DE, FR, and PL)  as well as the UK welcome the release of the first report of the Investigation and Identification Team to the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and to the Secretary General of the United Nations on 8 April 2020. We fully support the report’s findings. We strongly condemn the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Arab Air Force as concluded by the report. Those identified responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable for these reprehensible acts.

Accountability is essential to prevent the re-emergence of chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons by anyone anywhere, at any time and under any circumstances is a violation of international law and can amount to the most serious of international crimes - war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Impunity for these horrible acts will not be tolerated. It is now up to the International Community to duly consider the report and take appropriate action. Consistent with our commitment to the Partnership against impunity of the use of chemical weapons, we are determined to ensure that this clear violation of the core principles of the Convention receives the strongest possible response from the Chemical Weapons Convention’s States Parties.

We are steadfast supporters of the Chemical Weapons Convention, a key instrument of international arms control and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. We reaffirm our commitment, to supporting the OPCW in its efforts to implement the decision of States Parties, in June 2018, to put in place arrangements to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic.

We reiterate our full support to the OPCW and its Director General Arias, and underline the complementarity of its work with the United Nations. We have full confidence in the objectivity, impartiality and independence of the Organisation’s Technical Secretariat and its Investigation and Identification Team.

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