General Assembly Security Council

UNSC meeting/consultations on Syria (Chemical weapons) 

(Wednesday, 3 February 2021; 1500 hrs)   

 

Statement by Mr. R. Ravindra

Deputy Permanent Representative - Political Coordinator

 

Thank you Madam President. 

 

Let me extend best wishes on behalf of my delegation for a successful Presidency. I would like to thank Under Secretary General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu for her briefing.

 

2. We take note of the monthly report shared by DG OPCW with the Council today regarding the activities of the OPCW in implementing Security Council resolution 2118 (2013). 

 

3.  India recognizes the continuing efforts of the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT), the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) and the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) mechanisms of the OPCW, especially in these challenging times. We appreciate the announcement that DAT intends to deploy its team in the coming week to Syria for the next round of consultations. We look forward to receiving their findings. We also hope that the OPCW Technical Secretariat will also report the outcomes of the inspections of the facilities of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), which were conducted between 8 and 13 November 2020. We also note the development concerning extension of tripartite agreement between OPCW, Syria and UNOPS. We hope this agreement will be signed soon. 

 

4. We encourage continued engagement and cooperation between Syria and the OPCW Technical Secretariat towards an early resolution of all outstanding issues. India has consistently underlined the need for an impartial and objective investigation into any alleged use of chemical weapons, scrupulously following the provisions and procedures laid down in the Convention. Any concerns should be addressed on the basis of consultation among all concerned parties. In our view, politicization of the issue will result in parties taking extreme positions, jeopardizing the ongoing efforts towards resolution. 

 

5. India attaches high importance to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which is a unique, non-discriminatory disarmament instrument and serves as a model for the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. Under the Convention, India enjoys the distinction of becoming one of the first State Parties to be declared ‘chemical weapon free’ state Party. India has also provided a financial contribution of US$ one million to the OPCW Trust Fund for activities relating to destruction of chemical stockpiles and related facilities in Syria.

 

 

6.  India remains concerned about the possibility of such dangerous weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorist organizations and individuals. Terrorist groups have taken advantage of the decade long conflict in Syria to entrench themselves posing a threat to the entire region. Reports of the resurgence of ISIS in the region are being heard with increasing frequency. The world cannot afford to give these terrorists any sanctuary or dilute its fight against these terrorist groups.

 

7.  India has consistently called for a comprehensive and peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict through a Syrian-led dialogue, taking into account the legitimate aspirations of the people of Syria. We have also contributed to the return of normalcy and rebuilding of Syria through humanitarian assistance and human resource development. We stand ready to work with humanitarian relief agencies in devising a suitable vaccination relief programme for the country and the West Asia as a whole.

 

8.  Let me conclude by reiterating our full-hearted support to both the Geneva and the Astana processes for an expeditious resolution of the decade long conflict in Syria.

 

I thank you, Mr. President.

 

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