Let me congratulate you and your friendly Country, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, on presiding over the work of the Security Council for the current month. We have full confidence in your successful stewardship of its work, and I thank you for holding this open meeting on the so-called "chemical file".
First, I would like to express our categorical rejection of what Ms. Nakamitso said regarding not receiving any response or new information from the Syrian Government before this briefing. This is completely false since we sent yesterday two emails for Ms. Nakamitsu that include the most important information and updates regarding the Syrian cooperation in addition to the content of the official letter addressed from his Excellency Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates to the Director- General of the OPCW dated November 4th, 2020 responding to his inquiries. Furthermore, Syria is currently hosting a delegation of experts and inspectors who arrived on November 3rd, 2020 and will remain until November 24th. Syria cooperates fully with the organization and provides its experts with protection, security, safety and unrestricted entry to all places they want to inspect. This is the seventh round of inspection. The reports of the sixth round confirmed that there are no chemicals or any activities prohibited under the agreement at the Research Center in Barzeh and Jamraya.
I have attentively listened to the statements delivered by my colleagues during this session, and while we express our deep appreciation for the positions of members that adhere to the principles of international law and the provisions of the Charter, and that share our condemnation of the use of chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction at any time, place and under any circumstances, our position- along with these members - simply focuses on the need to move away from politicizing these important issues and to preserve the technical nature, credibility and professionalism of the OPCW's work.
However, I stand surprised at the surreal and absurd scene that the representatives of Western countries tirelessly repeat in their insistence on adhering to Goebbels' approach that they know well, and to persistently deny all the facts, evidence and proofs that confirm the erroneousness of their claims.
The manner in which some Western Governments deal with matters related to the situation in my country, whether they are related to political, humanitarian or chemical issues, reminds me of the famous Scottish writer, Robert Stephenson's, novel "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". These Governments are trying hard to assume the role of Dr. Jekyll, the good character, when they preach about noble values and principles and voice out resonant slogans. In reality, however, and in their dealings with other countries, these Governments pursue the behavior of Mr. Hyde, the evil character who does not hesitate to commit various kinds of crimes while relishing in the suffering of his victims. The Governments of these countries are directly and undoubtedly responsible for the suffering that Syrians have been experiencing for the past nine years, due to their direct involvement in the terrorist, political, economic and financial war on my country.
Even when it comes to our discussion, which is related to arms control and the prevention of the spread of weapons of mass destruction, there is a deep gap and rupture in the positions of the Western countries that destroyed Iraq under the guise of pretexts that have been proven as fallacies. These same Governments have been waging a misleading campaign and fabricating accusations against my country for years now, while- at the same time- providing military and technical support to strengthen the Israeli occupation’s arsenal of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and undertaking the task of defending them in international forums to perpetuate Israel's violations of relevant international agreements and instruments.
Is the task of maintaining international peace and security and being a permanent and non-permanent member in this council consistent with this schizophrenia, selectivity and double standards? Where did the lessons of history, the testimonies and reports of Hans Blix, Scott Ritter, David Kelly, Jose Boustany and other documents go to expose the manipulation of certain Governments with these issues to serve their agendas at the expense of international peace and security and the lives and well-being of the Syrian people? What about the facts and proofs provided by the Inspector in the OPCW, Ian Henderson, Professor Theodore Postol, Mr. Aaron Matte, during the Arria formula meeting held on September 27th, 2020, by an appreciated Russian initiative? And you all remember the scandal that occurred when Western countries prevented Mr. Jose Boustani from speaking!
The Syrian Arab Republic reaffirms, once again, that it did not use chemical weapons. Syria does not have chemical weapons any longer, furthermore, Syria was- and still is- committed to the cooperation with the OPCW, its secretariate and the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT), in order to settle all outstanding issues, to permanently close this file as soon as possible and remove it from the circle of games and media misinformation.
In this context, we kindly remind you, that my country, Syria, was able, despite the difficult security conditions that we went through years ago and despite the grave challenges posed by terrorist organizations and transnational terrorists and their operators, to cooperate with the United Nations in New York and the OPCW in The Hague to fulfill its commitments resulting from its accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013. This cooperation resulted in the disposal of the entire Syrian chemical stockpile and the destruction of the related production facilities. Mrs. Sigrid Kaag, head of the Joint Mission to Eliminate Chemical Weapons in Syria, gave this news to your council in her briefing five years ago in June 2014, and as it was confirmed by the documents issued by the Technical Secretariat of the Organization, the latest of which is the monthly report (85 ) of the Director General issued on October 10, 2020.
Despite these assurances, and despite the fact that representatives of the Western members witnessed with their own eyes the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles on board the American ship MV-Ray and other European ships, some member states have adhered to their hostile stances towards my country.
These Member States sought to escalate political pressure, and just before any verification of facts, they launched unilateral and tripartite acts of aggression that, inter-alia, completely destroyed civilian facilities such as the Barzeh Center for Scientific Research although the OPCW and its teams have repeatedly searched this center and confirmed that it was not used to carry out any illegal activities..
Moreover, the same member states established illegal mechanisms that were approved in violation of law and the provisions of Chemical Weapons Convention, such as the so-called “Investigation and Identification Team” (ITT), and relying on the reports of this team that lacked the minimal credibility and professional elements such as the fabricated report of Al-Lataminah incidents. Add to this, ignoring the information provided by both the Syrian Arab Republic and the Russian Federation, promoting the decision issued by the 94th session of the Executive Council of the OPCW, and imposing artificial dates and deadlines that are inconsistent with the challenges posed by the Corona pandemic, leading up to the current US administration submitting an escalatory draft resolution in this Council that aimed at serving its agendas and imposing them by pressure and threat.
This brings us back, Madam President, to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The United States of America, which claims to be keen on arms control and non-proliferation, and which has submitted to your Council a draft resolution against my country, is itself the only country party to the Chemical Weapons Convention that still possesses huge stockpiles of these weapons since World War II and refuses to destroy them. Furthermore, the US along with its allies has sought to cover up the crimes of terrorist organizations and their use of chemical weapons and toxic gases against Syrian civilians and the Syrian Arab Army forces.
This was again crystal-clear evident in the report of the "Fact-Finding Mission" related to Aleppo incident that took place on November 28th, 2018, in which the terrorist organizations used chemical weapons that resulted in the injury of 125 civilians and military personnel. The mission concluded that these facts were circumvented with the strange claim that it is unable to determine whether chemicals were used in this attack, despite the evidence provided by the Syrian and Russian governments. Would the Fact-Finding Mission have adopted the same position if it was possible to concoct the accusation of the Syrian government of responsibility for that?
My country is committed to continuing to cooperate with the OPCW Technical Secretariat and the Declaration Assessment Team to resolve all outstanding issues. Based on this, on October 4th,2020, my Government sent an official letter to the Director-General of the organization, which included responses to his inquiries regarding the implementation of the decision of the 94th session of the Executive Council about Al-Lataminah incidents. On October 15th ,2020, my country submitted its monthly report number (83) to the Technical Secretariat on activities related to the destruction of chemical weapons and their production facilities. Last September, the tripartite cooperation agreement between the Syrian government, the United Nations and the OPCW was extended for a period of six months, starting from September 30th, 2020. During the period between September 28th, 2020 and October 1st, 2020, the 23rd round of consultations was held between the Syrian government and the Declaration Assessment Team that visited Damascus, and the Syrian government provided it with all facilities for the success of its mission. Despite all this information, some colleagues in this council and Mrs. Nakamitsu are claiming that the Syrian Government is not cooperating with the OPCW nor with the Declaration Assessment Team.
Based on these positive data on the part of my country, we call on all member states of the OPCW to refuse the politicization of the technical character of the organization, and to address the serious defects in its work that would undermine the status and credibility of the organization. We also call on the High Representative for Disarmament, Izumi Nakamitsu, to adhere to professionalism, impartiality and objectivity and not to ignore the information we present to her, in the interest of the mandate and credibility of the United Nations.
My Government renews its support for the Russian Federation concerning the Western allegations related to the so-called Navalny case and Skripal before him.
In conclusion, Madam President, it is unfortunate that the minimal rules in the etiquette of diplomatic discourse is left out of the table, especially in the approach of my colleague the German Permanent Representative. We would have assumed that his performance would improve, and his language is polished and refined after having spent almost two years as a non- permanent member of the Security Council.
Fortunately, history indicates that Germany was in a state of war with my country at the beginning of WWII when it invaded- along with French proxy Vichy regime forces- my country, which had Syria declare war on Nazi Germany and therefore participate with the allies in establishing the UN in 1945. History teaches us also that our two countries maintained good relations since eliminating Nazism. However, the German PR repeatedly persists in his statements to maintain an overly hostile language towards my country as if we were in a state of war. On our side, we are not in such a state contrary to the convictions and delusions of the German PR.
Thank you, Madam President.