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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Open VTC on Syria (Chemical)

2021/04/06

Mr. President,

I thank Ms. Nakamitsu for her briefing.

China is consistently opposed to the use of chemical weapons by any country, organization or individual under any circumstances for any purposes. We hope that OPCW will investigate and deal with the alleged use of chemical weapons by working under the principles of independence, objectivity and impartiality and strictly within CWC framework.

On the chemical weapons issue in Syria, a series of reports issued by FFM and IIT are still subject to different views. Regarding the questioning from relevant parties, the Technical Secretariat shall provide professional, scientific and convincing responses, with a view to ensuring that investigation results stand the test of time and facts. The working methods and procedures of IIT shall be in full compliance with the provisions of CWC. The chain of evidence must be complete and closed. China objects to jumping into conclusions amid doubts. States parties and the international community must strengthen supervision on the work of the Technical Secretariat.

China commends the Syrian Government for its active cooperation with the Technical Secretariat and encourages both parties to continue their communication and cooperation to resolve the pending issues. On 7-25 February, the Syrian Government and the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT) held the 24th round of technical consultations. With the assistance of Syria, DAT visited three relevant facilities that had been declared by Syria, and conducted two interviews. On 9 March, Syria sent a note verbal to the Technical Secretariat, providing further information on the pending issues. These interactions deserve recognition. The Technical Secretariat must handle Syria’s initial declaration on chemical weapons in an objective and impartial manner, enhance coordination with Syria and refrain from the practice of double standard and politicization.

Mr. President,

At present, the international community is facing sharp differences over the investigations on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. OPCW and the Syrian government are still continuing their cooperation in an effort to resolve issues relating to the declaration. In this context, forcing the Conference of States Parties to take actions in haste will only make the states parties even more divided and the work of OPCW more politicized. This will further undermine the authority and effectiveness of the international architecture on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and harm the common interests of the international community. China is deeply concerned. Investigation and handling of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria must be brought back to the framework of CWC. It is our hope that OPCW will go back to its tradition of making decisions by consensus. This is a joint responsibility of all states parties, and will serve the common interests of all.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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