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Statement by Ambassador Kelly at Arria Meeting on Non-Proliferation

Thank you Ambassador and thank you for the invitation to today’s meeting.

 

Let me begin from first principles.  Ireland unequivocally condemns any use of chemical weapons, and all weapons of mass destruction, anywhere and at any time.

 

We have all seen the devastating and indiscriminate impact these terrible weapons have on people and communities in Syria. We should be united in acting together to uphold the international prohibition against the use of these appalling weapons. We deeply regret that Council has not been able to do this, with some focusing instead on seeking to undermine the professionalism and impartiality of the OPCW.

 

Mr Chair,

 

 

Let me be very clear, Ireland rejects any attempt to undermine the Integrity of International Non-Proliferation Regimes, and in particular, the continued attack today on the OPCW. I reiterate our firm confidence in, and support for, the professionalism, integrity and impartiality of the OPCW.

 

We, as the international community, have established the OPCW to be the impartial and authoritative voice, with the legal mandate and technical expertise, to address the problem of chemical weapons. It forms an essential part of the global disarmament and non-proliferation architecture, and protects all of our interests, including those of developing countries, in ensuring the global elimination of these weapons.

 

This is why we reject the continued political pressure placed by Russia on the OPCW regarding its documented, evidence-based conclusions on Syria.

 

We cannot accept efforts to put unsubstantiated claims on the same level as the authoritative, impartial, and evidence-based findings of the OPCW.

 

 

To do so, would undermine the integrity of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

 

Mr Chair,

 

 Syria has clear legal obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention. Over the years, it has evaded its responsibilities and failed to cooperate meaningfully to meet these obligations. Its initial declaration of chemical weapons stockpiles is a web of gaps and inconsistencies, and remains incomplete. This is what we should be discussing today.

 

Tragically, we have seen the documented, repeated use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on its own people. The OPCW and UN has now provided eight reports with factual, evidence-based and impartial conclusions, attributing the uses to the Syrian authorities. The most recent of these, released earlier this week, shows that chlorine was used by the Syrian Air Force on Saraqib on 4 February 2018.

 

Those who use chemical weapons must be held accountable. There can be no impunity for such a breach of international law. For our part, we are fully committed to fully implementing the EU sanctions regime, which has imposed restrictive measures on persons and entities involved in the development and use of chemical weapons.

 

Mr. Chair,

 

The bottom line remains the same. Syria must do what it promised to do, what it is legally obliged to do: declare and destroy all of its chemical weapons stocks and facilities. Last July, the OPCW Executive Council set out the clear actions Syria must take to ensure compliance with the CWC. Syria chose not to act on these. We again urge Syria to act immediately to comply with this Decision.

 

Ireland has co-sponsored the decision put to the Conference of States Parties (CSP) to the Chemical Weapons Convention for its meeting next week.  In the absence of the necessary action by the Syrian authorities to meet their obligations, we believe that CSP must take all appropriate actions to address Syria’s non-compliance.

 

 

Thank you Chair.

 

1.     Thank you Ambassador and thank you for the invitation to today’s meeting.

 

2.     Let me begin from first principles.  Ireland unequivocally condemns any use of chemical weapons, and all weapons of mass destruction, anywhere and at any time.

 

3.     We have all seen the devastating and indiscriminate impact these terrible weapons have on people and communities in Syria. We should be united in acting together to uphold the international prohibition against the use of these appalling weapons. We deeply regret that Council has not been able to do this, with some focusing instead on seeking to undermine the professionalism and impartiality of the OPCW.

 

4.     Mr Chair,

 

 

5.     Let me be very clear, Ireland rejects any attempt to undermine the Integrity of International Non-Proliferation Regimes, and in particular, the continued attack today on the OPCW. I reiterate our firm confidence in, and support for, the professionalism, integrity and impartiality of the OPCW.

 

6.     We, as the international community, have established the OPCW to be the impartial and authoritative voice, with the legal mandate and technical expertise, to address the problem of chemical weapons. It forms an essential part of the global disarmament and non-proliferation architecture, and protects all of our interests, including those of developing countries, in ensuring the global elimination of these weapons.

 

7.     This is why we reject the continued political pressure placed by Russia on the OPCW regarding its documented, evidence-based conclusions on Syria.

 

8.     We cannot accept efforts to put unsubstantiated claims on the same level as the authoritative, impartial, and evidence-based findings of the OPCW.

 

 

9.     To do so, would undermine the integrity of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

 

10.Mr Chair,

 

11. Syria has clear legal obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention. Over the years, it has evaded its responsibilities and failed to cooperate meaningfully to meet these obligations. Its initial declaration of chemical weapons stockpiles is a web of gaps and inconsistencies, and remains incomplete. This is what we should be discussing today.

 

12.Tragically, we have seen the documented, repeated use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on its own people. The OPCW and UN has now provided eight reports with factual, evidence-based and impartial conclusions, attributing the uses to the Syrian authorities. The most recent of these, released earlier this week, shows that chlorine was used by the Syrian Air Force on Saraqib on 4 February 2018.

 

13.Those who use chemical weapons must be held accountable. There can be no impunity for such a breach of international law. For our part, we are fully committed to fully implementing the EU sanctions regime, which has imposed restrictive measures on persons and entities involved in the development and use of chemical weapons.

 

14.Mr. Chair,

 

15.The bottom line remains the same. Syria must do what it promised to do, what it is legally obliged to do: declare and destroy all of its chemical weapons stocks and facilities. Last July, the OPCW Executive Council set out the clear actions Syria must take to ensure compliance with the CWC. Syria chose not to act on these. We again urge Syria to act immediately to comply with this Decision.

 

16.Ireland has co-sponsored the decision put to the Conference of States Parties (CSP) to the Chemical Weapons Convention for its meeting next week.  In the absence of the necessary action by the Syrian authorities to meet their obligations, we believe that CSP must take all appropriate actions to address Syria’s non-compliance.

 

17.Thank you Chair.

 

 

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