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Statement of H. E. Bassam Sabbagh at the SC Meeting on The "Chemical File" in Syria

Monday, 07 November 2022

Thank you, Mr. President.

    At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month, and also thank your predecessor, His Excellency the Ambassador of Gabon, for his efforts during his presidency of the Security Council last month.

Mr. president,

    Is it not surprising that the Security Council returns to discussing this issue in less than two weeks in the absence of any developments that require it? Isn't this approach a waste of the time and resources of this organization? Why do a few countries insist on ignoring the calls of the majority of council member states to rationalize its time and resources? Would it not have been more useful for the Council to hold a session on the negative effects of the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the United States and the European Union against the Syrian people to highlight their inhumane consequences that catastrophically affect their daily lives and access to basic needs.

    The frantic pursuit of Western countries to insist that the Council hold this debate, only to repeat the same accusatory narratives against Syria, is irresponsible and unacceptable, and incompatible with its obligations under the Charter of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security.

    The false accusations made by these countries against Syria have no legal or professional basis, and are completely rejected, and fall within the framework of the hostile political campaigns they have been waging against my country since 2011 until now with the aim of undermining security and stability in it and destroying its resources.

Mr. president,

     My delegation deplores the pervasive politicization of the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which has reached the point of allowing a fundamental distortion of the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention. In this context, my delegation reiterates the position of the Syrian Arab Republic on the illegality of establishing the so-called “Investigation and Identification Team (IIT)” and reiterates its total refusal to recognize this team, and its wrong and unprofessional methods of work, which will naturally lead to invalid conclusions.



Mr. president,

    The Syrian Arab Republic, since its voluntary accession to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, has implemented its obligations - even before the date of its entry into force - and has cooperated in full transparency and openness with the OPCW, to destroy all its stockpiles of chemical weapons and their production facilities. In this context, I would like to point out some aspects of cooperation between the Syrian National Authority and the OPCW:

First- The Syrian National Authority has persisted in submitting its monthly reports on time to the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on activities related to the destruction of chemical weapons and their production facilities, the latest of which was Report No. 107.

Second - The Syrian National Authority agrees on a continuous basis to extend the tripartite agreement between it, UNOPS, and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, to ensure the facilitation of the organization's work in Syria, and the last extension of this agreement was for a period of six months and expires at the end of this year.

Third - The Syrian National Authority facilitated the holding of nine rounds of inspection of the Center for Scientific Studies and Research. The latest report issued on the eighth round confirmed that there was no activity prohibited under the Convention. It also praised the great cooperation and facilities provided by Syria to the inspection team during that round.

Fourth - Over the past nine years, the Syrian National Authority has granted more than 500 entry visas to employees of the Technical Secretariat of OPCW, including all the organization's teams that worked in Syria. It also facilitated 24 consultations for the Declaration Assessment Team and welcomed the holding of the 25th round of consultations. It also agreed with all the options proposed by the technical secretariat of the organization to facilitate the holding of this round, while adhering to its principled position with reservations about the participation of one expert whose experience proved unprofessional. The Syrian National Committee has repeatedly called on the technical secretariat of the organization not to disrupt the important work of the Declaration Assessment Team, and not to hold it hostage to grant an entry visa to one expert, whose behavior we have reservations about, and have many more.

Fifth- The head of the Syrian National Authority had previously held two rounds of high-level consultations with the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and coordination is underway to hold a high-level meeting between them according to an agenda agreed upon by the two parties. We look forward to holding these consultations as soon as possible.

Sixth - The Syrian National Authority has spent a lot of time and effort with the Technical Secretariat of OPCW in reviewing and discussing some issues, which unfortunately the organization still insists on considering them as unresolved. In light of the fact that discussions on these issues are still ongoing, and there is no final agreement on their results yet, it is reprehensible that some insist on hastening accusations against Syria.

Mr. president,

    All aspects of cooperation between Syria and the technical secretariat of the organization, to which I have referred, must be acknowledged. The continuation of this cooperation - in all good faith - proves the responsible behavior of a country that fulfills its obligations, and it has nothing to hide. As for the ingratitude, skepticism and denial practiced by some countries for political purposes, which are well known, they deserve nothing but condemnation and denouncement.

Thank you, Mr. President.