Federal Foreign Office statement on the decision by the OPCW Executive Council regarding chemical weapons use in Syria

11.11.2016

A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (11 November) on the adoption by the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) of a decision condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria by the Syrian regime and the so-called Islamic State:

The Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons today condemned in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons in Syria by the Syrian regime and the IS terrorist militia, that has been identified by the respective United Nations Security Council commission.

Anyone who employs these inhumane weapons not only violates the values of the international community, but must be held accountable for such action. This clear demand is also made in the most recent report of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM).

These efforts will not succeed without unanimous backing by the United Nations Security Council. We therefore appeal for decisive action by, and consensus among, all of its members and the entire international community, which has today sent an unmistakeable message.

Background information:

In two substantial reports dated 24 August and 21 October 2016, the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), which holds a unanimous UN Security Council mandate, found that the Syrian regime was involved in the use of toxic chemicals as weapons in three cases. The IS terrorist militia was identified as being responsible for the use of sulfur mustard in one case. A total of nine cases were selected and painstakingly examined by the neutral and independent commission. The aim was to determine who was responsible for the use of chemical weapons in each case.

An OPCW independent commission of inquiry had previously proven that chemical weapons had been used, although it did not have a mandate to identify who was responsible. The full reports of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism are available online at:

http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2016/738

http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=s/2016/888  

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