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Remarks by Ambassador Jürgen Schulz in the Security Council VTC meeting on Syria (chemical weapons), June 2, 2020

02.06.2020 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

Mr. President, I still cannot understand that two delegations stayed away from the very important and informative IID that was organized by our Estonian colleagues two weeks ago. They missed a very thorough briefing by the IIT-coordinator in which he refuted, in his detailed analysis, all those false allegations that are again and again put forward against the IIT by interested parties. I can only assume that said delegations were aware this was going to happen and that they did not want to be confronted with the truth. 

Fact is: an expert body has found reasonable grounds to conclude that the Syrian Arab Air Force is responsible for three attacks with sarin and chlorine gas against the Syrian population, one of these attacks even being an attack on a hospital. 

We should not deflect from these findings by discussing the mandate of the IIT again. We all know that the decision to establish the IIT and to entrust it with the mandate to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria was taken by a majority vote, and thus in full accordance with the CWC and the rules of procedure of the OPCW. This has also been confirmed by the Office of the Legal Adviser of the OPCW, as we all know.

We should rather be talking about how to better enforce the rules that we have set for ourselves and how to hold those accountable who have repeatedly defied and continue to violate those rules. As long as there is no sufficient progress in this regard, it remains necessary to revisit these issues in the established monthly pattern, unfortunately.

Germany will not tire to remind the SYR regime of its obligations: to fully cooperate with OPCW and all its mechanisms, to fully declare its CW programme and verifiably destroy all chemical weapons, to cooperate in good faith with all the OPCW’s teams, i.e. the DAT, FFM as well as IIT, 

and to provide information with regard to unresolved questions and to account for tons of missing chemical agents that are probably being used in attacks such as those described in the IIT-report. 

It is not the task of the Security Council to provide cover for the Syrian regime. On the contrary: This Council must make sure that such crimes will not happen again. 

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