OPCW Director-General Welcomes Agreement on Syrian Chemical Weapons

The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, has welcomed the agreement on chemical weapons in Syria that was announced today following talks held in Geneva between the Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey V. Lavrov, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The Director-General hopes that these agreements will facilitate the fulfilment of obligations by Syria deriving from the Chemical Weapons Convention, which it has decided to join.  Following decisions that are proposed to be taken by the Executive Council of the OPCW, necessary measures will be adopted to implement an accelerated programme to verify the complete destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles, production facilities and other relevant capabilities.

The Director-General envisages that this significant step will be fully supported by States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the wider international community. The CWC represents the sole multilateral mechanism to rid the world of chemical weapons and the OPCW, with over 16 years of experience, possesses the necessary skills and capacities to undertake such missions. OPCW experts are already at work preparing a roadmap that anticipates the various undertakings and missions in Syria. Nine OPCW experts recently participated in the UN investigation of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.
 
These matters are expected to be discussed by the OPCW Executive Council in the coming week.