THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 4 May 2018 — The initial deployment of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) to gather facts in Douma, Syrian Arab Republic is complete. The Director-General thanked the FFM team members for their courage and professionalism. Samples were brought to the OPCW Laboratory where they will be split and then dispatched to the OPCW designated laboratories. The analysis of the samples may take at least three to four weeks. Meanwhile, the FFM will continue its work to collect more information and material. At this time, it is not possible to give a timeframe for when the Douma report will be issued to States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Set up in April 2014, the on-going mandate of the OPCW Fact Finding Mission (FFM) is to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic. The current mandate of the FFM does not include attribution.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – and with its 192 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 96% of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace.