Syria Chemical Weapons Team Reports Encouraging Progress  


Press Release from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations 

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Damascus, 3 October 2013: 

The joint OPCW-UN team mandated to assist Syria with the elimination of its chemical weapons programme has made encouraging initial progress, following the first working day of meetings with the Syrian authorities. Documents handed over yesterday by the Syrian Government look promising, according to team members, but further analysis, particularly of technical diagrams, will be necessary and some more questions remain to be answered.
  
The team hopes to begin onsite inspections and the initial disabling of equipment within the next week, but this depends on the outcome of the technical groups established with the participation of Syrian experts yesterday. These groups are working on three areas which are key to the mission’s success: verification of the information handed over by the Syrian Government; the safety and security of the inspection teams; and practical arrangements for implementing the plan, under which Syria’s chemical weapons material and equipment are to be eliminated by mid-2014.

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General 
  
Presidential Statement by the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria

  
The Secretary-General welcomes the Presidential Statement by the Security Council today that aims to address the horrifying humanitarian situation in Syria and illustrates the commitment of the international community to support the people caught up in the crisis.   

The Secretary-General notes that if the commitments and practical steps outlined in the statement are implemented humanitarian workers will be able to reach millions of Syrians in desperate need, many of whom have been unreachable for months. 

He also emphasises that the Security Council clearly calls on all parties to the conflict to do their utmost to end the violence in Syria, reminds them that they must facilitate the swift provision of vital humanitarian aid and underscores the serious consequences of violating international humanitarian and human rights law. 

New York, 2 October 2013