OPCW adopts plan for destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons programme in the first half of 2014

Friday, 15 November 2013

• Most critical chemicals to leave Syria by end of 2013
• Over 60 percent of unfilled warheads and bombs destroyed

The OPCW Executive Council (EC) approved today a detailed plan of destruction [PDF - 40 KB] to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. In the plan, Syrian chemical weapons will be transported for destruction outside its territory to ensure their destruction in the “safest and soonest manner”, and no later than June 30th 2014.

“I welcome the decision reached today by the Executive Council,” said OPCW Director General Ahmet Ümzücü. “The plan provides a clear roadmap. It sets ambitious milestones to be met by the Government of Syria. This next phase will be the most challenging and its timely execution will require the existence of a secure environment for the verification and transport of chemical weapons. Continuing international support and assistance for this endeavour will remain crucial.”

“I wish to express my sincere appreciation for all the States who have supported this mission – through both financial and in-kind contributions,” said OPCW-UN Joint Mission Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag addressing the Council.  “I am currently reaching out to others to consider joining this international effort, which is key to the successful implementation of the Executive Council’s decision”

The EC’s decision distinguishes between destruction actions “in the Syrian Arab Republic” and destruction activities “outside the territory” of Syria and stipulates intermediate destruction milestones leading to the complete elimination of its chemical weapons programme.

The plan envisions the removal of all declared chemical substances and precursors, except for isopropanol, from Syria no later than 5 February 2014 with the “most critical” chemicals to be transported out of Syria by 31 December 2013.  Syrian declared chemical weapons facilities, will undergo sequenced destruction from 15 December 2013 to 15 March 2014 according to a risk-based criterion.

With respect to activities outside Syria, the Executive Council decided that the destruction of the priority chemical weapons will be completed by 31 March 2014 and all other declared chemical materials by 30 June 2014.

The OPCW Director-General will present a specific plan for the destruction of Syrian chemicals outside the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic which includes provisions for ensuring clear responsibility at each stage for all chemicals and takes into account all relevant consideration, including target dates, requirements for safety and security, and overall costs. The Director-General is also requested to establish a special Trust Fund for this purpose and to keep the Executive Council informed on progress and if target dates will be modified.

Reporting on the progress on the ground, the Director-General informed the Executive Council that the OPCW-UN Joint Mission was able to verify the destruction of over 60 percent of Syria’s declared unfilled munitions to date.  As per the Executive Council decision, the Syrian Arab Republic has committed to destroy all unfilled munitions, composed of warheads and bombs, by 31 January 2014.

For more information please contact:

Sausan Ghosheh
OPCW-UN Joint Mission Spokesperson
E-mail ghosheh@un.org
Phone: +963-95-850-3074  

Christian Chartier
OPCW Media and Public Affairs / Spokesperson
E-mail: christian.chartier@opcw.org
Tel: +31 (0) 70 416 3739
Mobile: +31 (0) 6 5356 5894

United Nations Spokesperson’s Office
Phone: 1- 212- 963-7160


Categories: OPCW and the UN, Syria

For further information, please contact OPCW Public Affairs. +31 (0) 70 416 3242, public.affairs@opcw.org | ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR The Hague, The Netherlands

Follow OPCW on Facebook and Twitter.

More news

Alumni of OPCW Associate Programme Offer New Ideas for Future Curricula

Alumni meet online to brainstorm ideas for enhancing OPCW’s major capacity-building project 16 January 2017Full story

OPCW and World Customs Organization Expand Cooperation to Prevent Misuse of Toxic Chemicals

International organisations act together to improve oversight of trade in dual-use chemicals and reduce risk of chemicals used as weapons13 January 2017Full story

H.E. Mr Elyes Ghariani (Tunisia)

H.E. Mr Elyes Ghariani, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Tunisia to the OPCW, presented his credentials to the Director-General on 9 January 2017.09 January 2017Full story

New Engagement by Member States for Sharing the Needs and Best Practices on Chemical Safety and Security Management

Continuing their efforts to capture the Member States’ needs and best practices in chemical safety and security management, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the US Department of State organised...27 December 2016Full story

States Parties Bring Forward Ideas to Promote Peaceful Uses of Chemistry

Fresh ideas on fostering international cooperation to promote peaceful uses of chemistry among States Parties emerged from a workshop held on 22 November by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons...16 December 2016Full story

Statement from the OPCW Director-General on Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use in Uqayribat, Hama Governate, Syria

The allegations regarding the use of chemical weapons in the area of Uqayribat, in the Hama Governate in Syria, reported by the media recently are of serious concern. This area is located to the northwest of Palmyra and in...13 December 2016Full story

A New OPCW Report Brings Chemical Safety and Security Best Practices to your Fingertips

States Parties received help in creating robust safety and security management systems as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) released invaluable resources on ‘Needs and Best Practices on Chemical...13 December 2016Full story

Petrochemical Industry Moves towards Integrated Chemicals Management Framework

Industrial chemical safety and security takes centre stage as the petrochemical industry begins developing integrated chemicals management systems under OPCW facilitation 12 December 2016Full story

OPCW Laboratory Twinning Project Scores First Success

Thirteen Member States learned about the first successes of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' (OPCW) Laboratory Twinning initiative during a side event at the Twenty-First Session of the Conference of...12 December 2016Full story

H.E. Mr Kevin Kelly (Ireland)

H.E. Mr Kevin Kelly, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the OPCW, presented his credentials to the Director-General on 6 December 2016.06 December 2016Full story

Displaying 1 to 10 of 1717
<< First < Previous 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Next > Last >>