General Assembly Security Council

UNSC Briefing on Middle East (Syria Chemical Weapons)




Mr. R. Ravindra

Deputy Permanent Representative - Political Coordinator


6 April 2021

Thank you Mr. President,

I would like to thank Under Secretary General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu for her briefing.


2. We have taken note of the update on the 24th round of consultations between the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT) and the Syrian National Authority that took place from 7 to 25 February 2021. The DAT has conducted technical meetings with representatives of the Syrian National Authority, visited three declared sites - one Chemical Weapons Production Facility [CWPF] and two chemical weapons storage facilities, and held two interviews on an outstanding issue. The Secretariat has also received additional explanations from the Syrian Arab Republic on results of samples collected during the 23rd round of DAT consultations. We take note of the cooperation displayed by the Syrian authorities in all these developments.


3. India recognizes the efforts of the OPCW Technical Secretariat in the Declaration Assessment Team and the Fact-Finding Mission. We will await further updates on these mechanisms, including the inspections of the facilities of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), which were conducted between 8 and 13 November 2020.


4. We hope that the ongoing engagement and cooperation between Syria and the OPCW Technical Secretariat will progress further in the coming months towards an early resolution of all outstanding issues. In this regard, we welcome the in-principle agreement at the beginning of this year for a further six-month extension of the Tripartite Agreement between Government of Syria, OPCW and UNOPS (UN Office of Project Services) to facilitate the mandated activities in Syria. We hope this extension agreement will be signed soon.


5. India has consistently underlined the need for an impartial and objective investigation into any alleged use of chemical weapons, diligently following the provisions and procedures laid down in the Chemical Weapons Convention. Any concerns or disagreement should be addressed on the basis of consultations and cooperation among all concerned parties and the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW. There is a need for an objective analysis among Council members of what has been achieved since the adoption of resolution 2118 (2013), following the accession of the Syrian Arab Republic to the Chemical Weapons Convention.


6. 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. India has 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.


7. India remains concerned about the possibility of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorist entities and individuals. It is deeply concerning that the involvement of external actors in Syria has given a fillip to the growth of terrorism in Syria and in the region. We are concerned at the frequent reports of the resurgence of groups like ISIS in the region. We cannot afford to dilute the fight against these terrorist groups.


Mr. President,


8.  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 UN in line with Security Council resolution 2254. We have contributed to the return of normalcy and rebuilding of Syria through humanitarian assistance and human resource development.


9. Let me conclude by reiterating our support to both the Geneva and the Astana processes for finding an expeditious resolution to the decade long conflict in Syria.


I thank you, Mr. President.