Syria / Chemical weapons – Adoption of a decision by the OPCW Executive Council on the use of chemical weapons par le Syrian regime (9 Jul. 2020)


France welcomes yesterday’s adoption by the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) of a Decision Addressing the Possession and Use of Chemical Weapons by the Syrian Arab Republic, a text it had presented on behalf of 40 delegations.

The Executive Council’s decision lauds the work carried out by the OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team, whose first report concluded that Syrian air force units used chemical weapons in Ltamenah, Syria, in March 2017. It condemns violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention and notably Syria’s use of those prohibited weapons. It urges Syria to comply with its obligations under penalty of collective actions that could be adopted at the Conference of the States Parties in November 2020.

It is now up to Syria to cooperate with the OPCW’s Technical Secretariat and to redress the situation within the reasonable time frame specified in this decision. The next Conference of the States Parties will have to take the measures called for by Syria’s response to the Technical Secretariat by that time.

By adopting this decision, the members of the OPCW Executive Council reaffirm that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable regardless of the place, time, perpetrator and circumstances.

France reiterates its steadfast position against the use of chemical weapons and its support for punishing the perpetrators of chemical attacks. It was in this spirit that in 2018 France launched the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons.