Syria decision "first step" against chemical weapons impunity

Syria – Adoption of a decision by the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention relating to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime regime – Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (excerpt)

Paris, 21 April 2021

France welcomes the adoption today, by a very large majority, by the 25th Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention [CWC] of the decision addressing the possession and use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Arab Republic, a text which it presented on behalf of 46 delegations.

The decision by the Conference of the States Parties, taken based on the recommendations of the OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] Executive Council of July 2020 and Article XII of the Convention, suspends Syria’s voting rights and prevents it from holding a seat on the OPCW Executive Council or from serving on the subsidiary bodies of the OPCW. In order to have these rights restored, it is now up to Syria to comply with its international obligations under the CWC.

By adopting this decision, the States Parties to the CWC reaffirmed that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable regardless of the location, time, perpetrator or circumstances and that repeated violations of the convention cannot go unpunished. This is the first step in the fight against impunity, without prejudice to the actions that may have been or could be taken in national or international courts against those responsible for the use of chemical weapons.

France reiterates its constant position in support of ensuring that the perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks be punished. To that end, it notably launched, in 2018, the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons, which now brings together 40 states and the EU./.

Published on 22/04/2021

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