General Assembly Security Council


UNSC briefing on Syria (Chemical Weapons)

(3 June 2021)


Statement by Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations



Mr. President,


Let me begin by thanking Under Secretary General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu and DG-OPCW Fernando Arias for their briefings.


2. We have noted the contents of the latest report by DG-OPCW on “the progress in the elimination of the Syrian Chemical Weapons Programme” published on 25th May 2021. The report highlights the outstanding issues in the implementation of declaration and destruction obligations of Syria under the Chemical Weapons Convention as well as the possible use of chemical weapons.


3. India views the Chemical Weapons Convention as a unique, non-discriminatory disarmament instrument which serves as a model for the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. India attaches high importance to the Chemical Weapons Convention, and stands for its full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation. It is important to maintain the credibility and integrity of this Convention.


4. Further, India is against the use of chemical weapons by anybody, anywhere, at any time and under any circumstances. India has consistently maintained that any investigation into the use of chemical weapons must be impartial, credible and objective, following scrupulously the provisions and procedure embedded in the Convention, and in conformity with the delicate balance of power and responsibility enshrined under it to establish facts and reach evidence-based conclusions.  We again ask OPCW to follow these parameters scrupulously.




5. We encourage Syria to continue engagement and cooperation with the OPCW to resolve all pending issues expeditiously. We hope that the next round of Declaration Assessment Team (DAT) related consultations will take place soon.


6. India has been cautioning about the possibility of chemical weapons falling into the hands of terrorist entities and individuals. The latest report of UNITAD refers to the repeated successful deployments of chemical weapons by ISIL against civilian populations between 2014 and 2016. This is a cause for serious concern and needs to be fully recognized and acted upon, given that the core area of operations of ISIL has been both Syria and Iraq.  It is deeply concerning that the involvement of external actors in Syria has given a fillip to the growth of terrorism in the country and in the region. We are concerned at the frequent reports of the resurgence of terrorist groups in the region. The international community cannot afford to ignore terrorist activities in Syria and the region.


7. Lastly, Mr. President, 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, facilitated by the United Nations, in line with Security Council resolution 2254. We note the results of the recent Presidential elections in Syria, which falls within their sovereign purview. We reiterate our support for UN-led efforts for finding an expeditious resolution to the decade long conflict in Syria.


I thank you, Mr. President.