UN Security Council Briefing on the Middle East (Syrian Chemical Weapons Programme)- A3 Plus Statement.

Mr. President, 

I have the honour to deliver this joint statement on behalf of the A3+, namely: Guyana, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and my own country Algeria.

We thank [Name], [Position] for Disarmament Affairs, for the briefing. We welcome the participation in this meeting of the representatives of the Syrian Arab Republic, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Türkiye.

Mr. President, 

The A3+ reiterates its firm belief that the use of chemical weapons anywhere, by anyone and under any circumstances must be condemned. Impunity for such a crime under international law is not acceptable. 

We take note of the contents of the 128th monthly report of the OPCW, covering the period from 24 April to 23 May 2024. We also acknowledge the submission of the 126th monthly report, dated 15 May, on progress achieved by the Syrian Arab Republic regarding the destruction of its chemical weapons. 

The A3+ encourages the Technical Secretariat to continue its efforts to clarify the Syrian Arab Republic’s declarations by addressing the identified gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies that remain unresolved. To this end, we acknowledge the important role of the Tripartite Agreement between the OPCW, UNOPS, and the Syrian Arab Republic in facilitating the Secretariat’s activities regarding the full elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons programme. We therefore encourage the extension of the Tripartite Agreement upon its expiration on 30 June 2024.   

We also encourage the Syrian Arab Republic to continue its cooperation by submitting the relevant explanations, documents and amendments to the outstanding issues, in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). In this regard, we note with appreciation the collaboration of the Syrian Arab Republic with the Technical Secretariat, particularly in allowing the ongoing 27th round of consultations between the Declaration Assessment Team and the Syrian National Authority in Damascus. 

We look forward to the report on these consultations in due course.

Notwithstanding the recent encouraging developments, the A3+ remains concerned about the slow pace of progress in efforts to close the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical-weapons file. 

In light of the findings from the report of the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team regarding the Marea incident, the A3+ reiterates its grave concern about threats posed by acts of terrorism involving the use of chemical weapons. We urge continued high-level engagement to address the Syrian chemical weapons file based on these findings, to build momentum for conclusively resolving outstanding issues.

The A3+ calls upon the Syrian Arab Republic to sustain its collaboration with the OPCW, in line with resolution 2118 (2013) and the CWC, and as a critical measure towards the resolution of protracted issues., We also call on the Syrian Arab Republic to declare all chemical weapons and their production facilities in its possession, organize the next round of consultations with the Declaration Assessment Team, and solve outstanding issues in order to definitively close this file.

The A3+ remains committed to the imperative against the use of chemical weapons and to all efforts aimed at prohibiting their development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use. We reaffirm our continuing support for resolution 2118 (2013) and underscore the need for definite closure of the issues pertaining to the Syrian chemical weapons file.

I thank you

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