THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 8 January 2019 — On 24 November 2018, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) received information pertaining to an allegation of chemical weapons use in Aleppo, Syrian Arab Republic, and began monitoring the situation. The Director-General of the OPCW, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, informed OPCW Member States of the allegation and invited all parties that may have information to share it with the OPCW Technical Secretariat.
In early December, an advanced team was deployed to Syria to collect further information. Since then, consultations with the Syrian authorities have been on-going. The OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) deployed in early January to further establish facts regarding the allegation. The FFM continues to independently collect and analyse information and will report its findings to States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention. All measures continue to be taken to ensure the safety and security of OPCW experts and personnel involved.
The Chemical Weapons Convention comprehensively prohibits the use, development, production, stockpiling, and transfer of chemical weapons.
In response to persistent allegations of chemical weapon attacks in Syria, the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) was set up in 2014 with an on-going mandate to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic.
The FFM is required to study available information relating to allegations of use of chemical weapons in Syria, including information provided by the Syrian Arab Republic and others.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Members, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, 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 Peace Prize.