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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Briefing on Syria

2021-10-04 05:03

Mr. President,

I wish to thank Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu for her briefing.

During the General Debate of the General Assembly in September this year, Syrian Foreign Minister al-Mekdad said that his country firmly opposes the use of chemical weapons under any circumstances by anyone, anywhere and at any time, and is always ready to maintain cooperation with OPCW to resolve outstanding issues. China appreciates Syria’s reaffirmation of its commitment.

It is China’s consistent position that dialogue and cooperation is the right approach to the issue of Syrian chemical weapons, and that excessive pressure can only be counterproductive. The Syrian government and the Technical Secretariat have different interpretations and multiple outstanding issues. The two sides should respect scientific facts, adhere to objectivity and impartiality, continue to discuss fully, move towards each other, and together strive for early settlement of outstanding issues. The successful renewal of the tripartite agreement between the Syrian government, the Technical Secretariat and UNOPS has created good conditions for resolving outstanding issues. The Syrian government stays engaged with the Technical Secretariat on DAT’s 25th round of consultations, which has run into difficulties due to a visa issue. We hope that the two sides will resolve them in a constructive manner.

I wish to underscore that the establishment of the Investigation and Identification Team goes beyond the scope of the CWC, and runs counter to the OPCW’s tradition of consensus, and many countries including China have expressed concerns. The working methods and procedures of the IIT have also failed to meet the requirements of the Convention and its annex on verification, thereby begging multiple questions. We hope that the Technical Secretariat will adhere to the technical nature, uphold the spirit of impartiality, objectivity and independence in performing its duty and facilitate a return of attribution to the framework of the Convention.

In closing, I reiterate that China stands firm in opposing the use of chemical weapons by any country, organization or individual under any circumstances or for any purpose, and hopes that our world will soon be freed of all chemical weapons. We urge the countries in possession of chemical weapons to destroy all chemical weapons as soon as possible.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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