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Statement by Ambassador Bassam Sabbagh The Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic Before The Security Council On the "Chemical File" in Syria

Tuesday, 25 October 2022
Ambassador Bassam Sabbagh
Security Council

Mr. president,

Once again, the Security Council is discussing this issue in the absence of any developments that warrant this discussion, except to find another opportunity for some well-known countries, led by the United States of America, to repeat their accusatory narratives against Syria, which represents a waste of time and resources that should be better invested.

Mr. president,

    Syria's cooperation with the OPCW is something that must be acknowledged. Since its voluntary accession to the Convention in 2013, Syria has provided full cooperation with the OPCW, as evidenced by the complete destruction of its stockpiles of chemical weapons and their production facilities in a record time. It has become known to all, that countries such as the United States, France and United Kingdome deliberately resort to ignoring this fact for destructive political purposes, which they have worked for since 2011 until now, with the aim of undermining security and stability in Syria, and destroying its capabilities, including through the use of terrorist organizations and the fabrication of accidents of use of chemical weapons.

Mr. president,

    The false accusations made by these countries against Syria have no legal or professional basis, and fall within the framework of the hostile propaganda they are waging against my country. Whoever urges Syria to abide by the CWC must first urge other countries that violate the same convention to abide by it, by preventing those countries from facilitating their delivery of chemical weapons and toxic chemicals to the hands of terrorist organizations and holding them accountable for the crimes they committed against the Syrian people, including through use of chemical weapons or its fabrication. The many information provided by Syria in this regard, which was not investigated, is a proof of this.

    The representative of the United States, instead of lecturing us on Syria's implementation of its obligations under the CWC, should have urged his government to expedite the implementation of its obligations under the CWC, which has been stalling, for years now, in destroying its huge arsenal of chemical weapons under flimsy pretexts.


Mr. president,

    Some on this board argue that the OPCW’s teams are doing their work professionally and in an impartial manner! The question is how is that? Is the fact-finding mission team's receipt of samples from unknown, even suspicious entities, an act of professionalism in accordance with the Convention? Is following discriminatory methods of work according to the party requesting the investigation of the incident, a neutral and professional method? Do the reports submitted by these groups serve the political agendas of some countries - including covering up a military aggression carried out by three member states of this Council against my country - give them any credibility? Does the delay in issuing reports on the incidents reported by Syria since 2017 until now, in contrast to the hasty issuance of reports on incidents reported by other parties, indicates the presence of the slightest degree of impartiality or professionalism?

Mr. president,

    Syria reiterates its welcoming to the holding of the twenty-fifth round of consultations for the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT), and confirms that it does not set conditions for holding this round, and that the Technical Secretariat must acknowledge Syria's good faith that it has not prevented any team or employee from entering its territory over the past nine years, and also calls on it not to Disrupting the important work of the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT) and holding him hostage to the granting of a visa to one expert we have reservations about his conduct, and the OPCW has many more instead of him.

    My delegation assures the member states of this Council that all issues discussed by the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT) are still under review and consultation between Syria and the Technical Secretariat, and there are no final conclusions regarding them yet. Therefore, we deplore the insistence of some countries on ignoring these clarifications, and hastening to level accusations against Syria, and to present statements that are incorrect and baseless, and do not correspond to reality.

Mr. president,

    Regarding the upcoming high-level meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates - Chairman of the Syrian National Authority and the Director-General of the OPCW, Syria affirms its keenness to hold this meeting as soon as possible, according to an agenda agreed upon by the two sides that contributes to resolving the outstanding issues between them. In this regard, it was noted that the Technical Secretariat had finally responded – on the 3rd of October - to our proposal to hold a coordination meeting between the focal points of the two sides in Beirut to prepare for this meeting.

Mr. president,

    The Syrian Arab Republic reaffirms its position regarding the illegality of establishing the so-called “Investigation and Identification Team (IIT)”, as the CWC did not entrust the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat with conducting investigations regarding determining responsibility for the use of chemical weapons, and therefore the (IIT) was granted an illegitimate mandate, This indicates that there is a defect in the implementation of the CWC, and a violation of its provisions, only to offend a state party to it.

    The establishment of the (IIT) team by a decision imposed by a vote, with the approval of less than half of the state’s parties to the convention, and in contrast to the consensus followed in the decisions adopted by the OPCW, was assigned to it a responsibility not provided for in the convention, this represented a clear violation of it, and a violation of its provisions, given Bearing in mind also that voting is not a means to introduce amendments to the texts of the agreement.

    My delegation once again reiterates Syria's total refusal to recognize this team, and its wrong and unprofessional methods of work, which will naturally lead to invalid conclusions that deserve condemnation.

Finally, Mr. President,

    I reiterate the Syrian Arab Republic's unequivocal condemnation of the use of chemical weapons by anyone, at any time and place, and under any circumstances. I assure that Syria is not trying to undermine the work of the OPCW, but rather to defend the teams of the Technical Secretariat to carry out their work in accordance with the provisions of the CWC, in a manner that guarantees the preservation of the professionalism, impartiality and credibility of the OPCW.

    Syria stands in the way of some countries' use of this OPCW as a tool to achieve malign and hostile goals, including the insistence of some countries in this Council on politicizing this file, and their efforts to cover up the practices of terrorist groups against Syrian citizens, and its manipulation of the provisions of the CWC to create illegal mechanisms. Syria stresses that unless these countries change their destructive behavior and agenda towards my country, we will not be able to have an objective discussion of this file and close it in a professional and impartial manner.

Thank you, Mr. President.