Update on Syrian Chemical Weapons Destruction and the Fact-Finding Mission into Alleged Chlorine Gas Attacks

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü briefed the OPCW Executive Council today on progress in the work of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission in Syria. While welcoming the complete destruction by Syrian authorities of all declared stocks of isopropanol he stressed the urgency of removal of the remaining chemicals from the Syrian Arab Republic so that destruction operations can begin without further delay.

Some 100 metric tonnes of chemicals, or nearly 8 percent of Syria’s declared stockpile, remain at a single site. Over the last week they have been packed and are ready for transportation.  The Syrian authorities have informed that they cannot yet be moved from the storage site due to the security situation in the area.

Technical consultations on the destruction of structures that housed 12 chemical weapons production facilities (CWPFs) are ongoing.  All CWPFs in Syria were rendered inoperable last year ahead of the 1 November 2013 timeframe set by the OPCW Executive Council.  The Director-General expressed the hope that these consultations can soon be concluded to inform a Council decision on the modalities of destruction.

The Director-General also briefed the Council on the OPCW fact-finding mission on allegations of use of chlorine gas in Syria. The mission is involved in the delicate process of preparing for on-site activities. This is a particularly challenging undertaking as safe and secure access to areas not controlled by the government is required. The Syrian Government has accepted the terms of reference for the mission and agreed to provide security for the Mission in areas under its control. 

“The alleged use of chlorine in Syria is of grave concern to the OPCW and the international community,” Ambassador Üzümcü said.  “All efforts should be made, by all parties to the conflict, to enable safe access for our team enabling it to conduct its important work.”

Following extensive discussions at its 41st meeting, “The Council, mindful of the established framework set out for the total elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons programme by the Chemical Weapons Convention and relevant decisions, called on the Syrian Arab Republic to undertake all possible efforts to complete the speedy removal of the remaining chemicals.”

The Council also expressed deep appreciation for the dedication, professionalism and commitment of the staff members of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission and of the Technical Secretariat, both in The Hague and in the field, in carrying out their functions. 


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 >>