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

2021-03-04 06:01

Mr. President,

I'd like to thank Ms Nakamitsu for her briefing. China is always opposed to use of chemical weapons by any state, organization or individual under any circumstances for any purposes. China hopes that OPCW can observe the principles of independence, impartiality and objectivity, and act strictly within the framework of CWC while investigating alleged use of chemical weapons and attributing responsibility. Today, I wish to emphasize four points.

First, efforts to resolve the issue of Syrian chemical weapons must proceed from facts. Investigations of alleged use of chemical weapons should be science-based and comply with relevant rules and standards. Reliability of the information source, integrity of evidence chain, robustness of the analysis all affect the credibility and authority of the report. States Parties have the right to question the investigation report. The OPCW Technical Secretariat should present conclusive evidence, so as to convince people.

Secondly, to resolve the Syrian chemical weapons issue, there should be no double standard. Technical Secretariat should not selectively adopt intelligence and information on alleged use of chemical weapons by parties. The Syrian government has, on various occasions, provided information on fabrication of incidents of chemical weapons by terrorist organizations and armed groups. The Technical Secretariat should attach importance to such information and include it in the monthly report.

Thirdly, to resolve the Syrian chemical weapons issue, there should be no political motivation at play. In the past few years, some countries repeatedly pushed OPCW to take action despite lack of conclusive evidence, numerous doubts about the report, and huge differences among parties. Decisions forced through in this way are often full of controversy and hard to implement. They have not only eroded mutual trust among States Parties, but also hampered the resolution of this issue.

Fourthly, to resolve Syrian chemical weapons issue, we must rely on dialogue and cooperation. For some time, the Syrian government has actively collaborated with OPCW. The two sides have maintained sound communication and cooperation, and in principle agreed to extend relevant cooperation agreement by six months. From 7 to 25 February, the two sides held the 24th round of technical consultation. The international community should acknowledge the constructive attitude of the Syrian government, and encourage OPCW and the Syrian government to continue dialogue and consultation and to work together to resolve outstanding issues.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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