8% of Syrian Chemicals Still Remain to be Removed; Fact-Finding Mission in Syria; Some Progress on Syrian Production Facilities

17 June 2014

The Director-General Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü updated the OPCW Executive Council on developments related to the mission to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons.  The OPCW-UN Joint Mission Special Coordinator, Ms Sigrid Kaag, also briefed delegates on progress in the work of the Joint Mission. 

The Director-General noted that ongoing delays in transporting the remaining 8% of chemicals mean that Syria will miss the target date of 30 June for the complete destruction of its chemical weapons programme.  He called on Syrian authorities to redouble their efforts to complete the transportation of the remaining chemicals without further delay.

Referring to progress in technical talks on the destruction of 12 chemical weapons production facilities (CWPF), the Director-General noted that Syria has agreed to the methodology for destroying hangars that were used as CWPFs.  However, further work is needed regarding the underground structures.
 
The Director-General noted that despite the grave incident which prevented the fact-finding mission (FFM) from conducting an important field visit, the team was able to prepare a preliminary report.  The information that was available to the FFM lends credence to the view that toxic chemicals – most likely pulmonary irritating agents, such as chlorine – have been used in Syria. The FFM will continue its important work in gathering facts and bringing them to light.

“I commend the commitment and dedication of the team of OPCW and UN officials who courageously pressed on with the task that was assigned to them, despite the well-known risks,” said Ambassador Üzümcü.
 

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