Syria and the OPCW

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The OPCW is following the recent media reports and other published information on developments in Syria. Syria reportedly possesses significant stockpiles of chemical weapons, including highly lethal nerve agents. However, without conducting physical inspections and investigations, the OPCW cannot speculate or comment on the veracity of those reports. Nevertheless, the OPCW is unreservedly concerned about the existence of chemical weapons of any sort and anywhere in the world thus it will continue to follow developments in Syria.

Syria is not a Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and hence is not legally committed to the Convention’s prohibitions against the development, production, stockpiling or use of chemical weapons. Therefore, the OPCW currently has no legal mandate to conduct inspections in the country to verify the possible existence of chemical weapons or related activities.

Conversely, Syria is a party to the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which bans the use of chemical and bacteriological methods of warfare. It ratified the Protocol in 1968 without reservations, except for the proviso that the protocol did not represent recognition of Israel. Thus, Syria has formally renounced both first and retaliatory use of chemical or biological weapons against any State.

The OPCW has made representations to Syria over the years to encourage her to join the Treaty, which have never produced an official response. Even so the OPCW remains available at all times to engage with the Syrian government and provide technical assistance for Syria to join the Convention.
 
Although not a United Nations (UN) organisation, the OPCW has a working relationship with the UN. For instance, if requested to do so by the UN Secretary-General, the OPCW has a mandate in accordance with paragraph 27 of Part XI of the Verification Annex of the Convention for closely cooperating with the UN, by placing its resources at the disposal of the Secretary General to conduct an investigation of alleged use of chemical weapons in a State not Party to the CWC.


Categories: Asia, Syria, Universality

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

His Majesty the King of the Netherlands and High Dignitaries to Attend OPCW 20th Anniversary Commemoration

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 24 March 2017 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, is honoured to announce the attendance of His Majesty King...24 March 2017Full story

OPCW Director-General Visits Singapore

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 23 March 2017 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, paid an official visit to Singapore from 21 – 22 March. In his keynote...23 March 2017Full story

Improved Analytical Capability at the OPCW Laboratory Thanks to New NMR Equipment

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 17 March 2017 — The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, yesterday inaugurated the new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)...17 March 2017Full story

Statement by Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü: Commemoration of the 1988 Halabja Chemical Weapons Attack

On 16 March, we remember the tragedy that befell the innocent citizens of Halabja. On this day 29 years ago, thousands suffered and perished in the unspeakable cruelty of a chemical weapons attack.  On behalf of the...16 March 2017Full story

H.E. Ms. Pornprapai Ganjanarintr (Thailand)

H.E. Ms. Pornprapai Ganjanarintr, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Thailand to the OPCW, presented her credentials to the Director-General on 15 March 2017.15 March 2017Full story

OPCW Executive Council Condemns Chemical Weapons Use in Fatal Incident in Malaysia

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 10 March 2017 — The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) Executive Council (EC) adopted a decision yesterday expressing grave concern that, according to statements by the...10 March 2017Full story

Specialists from Asia Review New Approaches to Chemical Risk Assessment and Reduction

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 9 March 2017 — Experts from Member States of the OPCW in Asia discussed and analysed the latest trends in chemical safety and security at the Fifth Seminar on Chemical Safety and Security Management, held...09 March 2017Full story

Experts from Africa Contribute to OPCW’s Repository of Chemical Safety and Security Best Practices

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 9 March 2017 — A group of specialists shared chemical safety and security management needs and best practices during a regional workshop in Yaoundé, Republic of Cameroon, from 27 February – 1 March.09 March 2017Full story

H.E. Mr Lok Bahadur Thapa (Nepal)

H.E. Mr Lok Bahadur Thapa, Permanent Representative of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal to the OPCW, presented his credentials to the Director-General on 7 March 2017.07 March 2017Full story

Statement from the OPCW Spokesperson on Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use in Mosul, Iraq

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 5 March 2017 — In response to allegations of chemical weapon use in Mosul, Iraq, the Spokesperson for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) stated, “The OPCW is seriously...05 March 2017Full story

Displaying 1 to 10 of 1732
<< First < Previous 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Next > Last >>