UNITED NATIONS, September 13 (Itar-Tass) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has received Syria’s statement on its accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the U.N. press service said on Thursday, September 12
“The Secretary-General has today received a letter from the Government of Syria, informing him that President Al-Assad has signed the legislative decree providing for the accession of Syria to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction of 1992,” the spokesperson for the Secretary-General said.
“The Secretary-General welcomes this development, noting that, as depository of the Convention, he has long called for universal accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention,” he said.
Ban hopes that “given recent events, he hopes that the current talks in Geneva will lead to speedy agreement on a way forward which will be endorsed and assisted by the international community.”
The U.N. Secretary-General confirmed the receipt of the letter from the Syrian authorities, in which they pledged to observe the obligations set forth in the Convention even before it enters into force.
“In their letter, the Syrian authorities have expressed their commitment to observe the obligations entailed by the Convention even before its entry into force for Syria,” the U.N. said.
However, U.N. deputy spokesperson Farhan Faq said the U.N. needed time for the lawyers to study the letter to see if it could be considered an instrument of accession to the Convention as there were certain procedures to be observed.
Earlier in the day, Syrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari said: “In legal terms, Syria has become a full party to the Convention today.”
He said the relevant notices had been sent to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague.
He presented a copy of the message to Ban, in which Syria undertook to comply with the terms of the Convention.
Jaafari said chemical weapons stocks had been regarded by the Syrian authorities as “deterrence” against Israel’s nuclear capabilities. “Now the time has come for the Government of Syria to join the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and give up weapons of mass destruction,” he said, expressing hope that “this will serve an example for Israel to follow.”
The Syrian authorities have accepted Russia’s proposal to put chemical weapons stocks under international control for subsequent disposal. President Assad said Damascus would provide complete information on its military chemicals industry within 30 days of accession to the Convention.