OPCW Director-General Briefs United Nations Security Council on Syria

7 November 2019

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 7 November 2019 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, briefed the United Nations Security Council and senior UN officials on issues related to chemical weapons and Syria during a visit to New York from 4-6 November.

During his address to the UN Security Council on 5 November, the Director-General stated: “I have come today to the UN Security Council to present the work and current challenges to the OPCW, including our mandated activities related to Syria’s chemical weapons file.

My visit today illustrates the joint commitment of the OPCW and the United Nations to uphold the norm against the use of chemical weapons, and to global peace and security.

In this effort, the two organisations work in a complementary manner, as has been manifested in OPCW decisions and resolutions of the UN Security Council and the General Assembly.”

Following his address to the Security Council, the Director-General held bilateral meetings with United Nations Secretary-General, H.E. Mr António Guterres, and Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, H.E. Ms Izumi Nakamitsu.

UN officials expressed their support for the objectives of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the work of the OPCW.

Background

As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, 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 97% 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.

As set out in a decision of the Executive Council of the OPCW (EC-MXI/DEC.1 of 1 September 2000), approved by the OPCW Conference of States Parties and the UN General Assembly in 2001, the OPCW agrees to report on a regular basis through the Secretary-General to the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council.

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