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UN SC may vote on Syria resolution Sept 27 if OPCW adopts its decision

September 27, 2013, 4:33 UTC+3
The OPCW press service said earlier in the day that the date of the OPCW Executive Council’s meeting on Syria would be announced shortly
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UNITED NATIONS, September 27 (Itar-Tass) - The U.N. Security Council may vote on the Syria chemical weapon resolution on Friday, September 27, if the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) adopts the relevant decision, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said.

“We hope that the OPCW Executive Council will be able to make the decision within 24 hours as per its procedures. If this happens in The Hague tomorrow evening, that is, when it is 3 or 4 p.m. in New York, we will be able to vote [on the resolution] at 8 p.m.,” Churkin said.

The OPCW press service said earlier in the day that the date of the OPCW Executive Council’s meeting on Syria would be announced shortly.

Initially, the meeting was scheduled for September 22 but was postponed indefinitely. The Executive Council was supposed to consider ways to implement the Russian-American framework for the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons, which was reached by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva in early September.

At the end of last week, the OPCW confirmed that it had received full information regarding Syria’s chemical weapons.

The Russian-American draft resolution on Syria has been agreed. It will be submitted to the U.N. Security Council on September 27, and it does not provide for action under Section VII of the U.N. Charter, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“We have fully agreed the draft decision that will be submitted to the OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] headquarters in The Hague these minutes. We have also agreed the Russian-American draft resolution that will be submitted to the U.N. Security Council in support of the decision which I hope will be adopted by the OPCW,” Lavrov said.

“The resolution to be submitted to the other members of the Security Council is strictly consistent with the logic of the Geneva framework agreement for the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria, and it does not provide for any action under Section VII and underscores the importance of relying on the professional skills of the OPCW experts, urges the U.N. Secretary-General to assist the OPCW experts in their work and specifies all obligations Syria is to fulfill as a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention and as a country that has invited OPCW inspectors and other personnel to take its chemical weapons stocks under control for further destruction,” the minister said.

The resolution draws on the agreement reached by Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva in early September. If these procedures are violated by any party or if chemical weapons are used by any party, the Security Council will consider these incidents and may authorise action under Section VII of the U.N. Charter proportionally to the violation that has to be fully proved, he noted.

The resolution urges the Syrian opposition to be cooperative during the process.

“We have a common understanding in the U.N. Security Council and the OPCW that these documents will be met positively. We hope that a vote will be held shortly in The Hague and then in New York on these two very important decisions that practically solve all organisational and legal issues relating to the implementation of the agreement on Syrian chemical weapons following Syria’s accession to the OPCW Convention and its declaration. In other words, professional work will start,” Lavrov said.

“The declaration will be verified on the ground, OPCW experts will go to Syria to visit the sites specified by the Syrian side and decide what to do with the chemical weapons stocks in the country,” he added.

“I am satisfied with the work done. I hope that the Russian-American initiative that has already won broad support will be backed up in practical terms by the OPCW and the U.N. Security Council,” Lavrov said.

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