Estonia highlighted the report of the OPCW on the use of chemical weapons in Syria at a UN Security Council meeting
Yesterday 12 May, a video meeting was held at the UN Security Council on the issue of chemical weapons in Syria, and as the current President, Estonia invited Fernando Arias, the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), to be one of the speakers.
On 8 April, the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), established by the OPCW in 2018, presented its first report. According to the report, there are enough grounds to conclude that the three chemical attacks in Ltamenah in 2017 (on 24, 25 and 30 March) were conducted by the government forces of Syria.
“As the President, we considered it important to provide the Security Council with an overview of the findings of such an important report and to make sure the grounds for their discussions on the chemical attacks carried out in Syria are as accurate as possible. The Security Council has a special role in protecting peace and security and in fighting impunity. It is crucial to give a consistent response to grave violations of international law. This meeting was an example of how the international community has not forgotten what was and is happening in Syria,” Estonia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Sven Jürgenson said.
After the meeting, European Union members of the Security Council Estonia, Belgium, Germany and France as well as the United Kingdom and former elected member Poland made a joint statement, expressing support for the findings of the report and condemning the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Air Force.
“Impunity for these horrible acts will not be tolerated. It is now up to the International Community to duly consider the report and take appropriate action,” the statement says.
Other briefers in addition to the Director-General of the OPCW Fernando Arias were IIT coordinator Santiago Oñate and the UN Under-Secretary-General of Disarmament Izumi Nakamitsu.
Statement of the EU5 + United Kingdom: https://bit.ly/2YWB2Yn
Estonia’s full statement: https://un.mfa.ee/national-statement-at-un-security-council-informal-interactive-dialogue-on-syria-chemical-weapons/
IIT report: https://www.opcw.org/media-centre/news/2020/04/opcw-releases-first-report-investigation-and-identification-team
The source: https://un.mfa.ee/