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Remarks by Minister-Counselor Sun Zhiqiang at the UN Security Council Briefing on Chemical Weapons Issue in Syria

2023-01-05 22:25

Mr. President, 

As the first order of business, I would like to congratulate Japan on assuming Presidency of the Council for this month. We welcome Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, and Switzerland has new non-permanent members of the Security Council. We look forward to greater coordination and cooperation with you and other members of the Council to promote unity among Council members and effective mandate implementation by this Council in the new year. I thank Deputy High Representative Adedeji Ebo for his briefing. We regret that OPCW Director General did not accept the invitation to brief this Council. 

China consistently stands against the use of chemical weapons by any country, organization, individual under any circumstances for any purposes. We look forward to a world rid of any and all chemical weapons as early as possible. 

There is no alternative to dialogue and negotiation to resolve the Syrian chemical weapons issue. The Syrian Government and the OPCW Technical Secretariat should strengthen engagement and communication, and move in the same direction to settle any outstanding issues promptly. We welcome the successful extension of the tripartite agreement among the Syrian Government, the Technical Secretariat, and UNOPS. As for the meeting between the OPCW Director General and the Syrian Foreign Minister, China encourages the increased coordination between the Syrian Government and the TS to jointly advance the preparations for the meeting. We also call on the TS to fully consider the realities faced by the country concerned, and facilitate its participation in the 25th round of technical consultations. Information provided by the Syrian Government earlier on terrorist organizations possessing and using chemical weapons must be taken into full account by the TS. 

China reiterates its call that the Council should reduce the frequency of the considerations on the Syrian issue, or consider combining the different tracks of the dossier. This would enable us to take a holistic approach to the Syrian issue and to make the Council's work more efficient. 

Thank you, Mr. President.

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