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Friday, May 23, 2014

Ban on chemical weapons in Syria: Joint Mission will continue its work beyond June 30th

Here is the UN Secretary General's eighth report on the chemical weapons in Syria. It was sent to the Security Council today, 23 May 2014. 

THE SECRETARY GENERAL
23 May 2014
Dear Mr. President (of the Security Council),
I have the honour to transmit herewith the eighth monthly report of the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), submitted pursuant to paragraph 12 of Security Council resolution 2118 (2013) (see annex). The present letter provides information requested in that resolution on the activities of the United Nations from 25 April to 22 May 2014 related to the implementation of the resolution.

Introduction
During the reporting period, there had been no further removal of chemical weapons material 01' verification activities allowing for the closure of additional chemical weapons storage and production facilities. However, the Syrian Arab Republic accessed the last site containing chemical weapons material, carried out the destruction of its residual stockpile of isopropanol, and prepared remaining chemical material for removal as soon as security conditions permit.
At the time of issuance of this letter, a number of activities remain outstanding in order for the Syrian Arab Republic to fully eliminate its declared chemical weapons programme in accordance with the provisions of Security Council resolution 2118 (2013) and the relevant decisions of the OPCW Executive Council. These are: the removal of the remaining chemical weapons material; the destruction of structures at twelve production facilities pending an agreement on the modalities of destruction by the OPCW Executive Council; the destruction of one item of loading equipment at one production facility; and the destruction of one building located at another production facility.
The Joint Mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations for the Elimination of the Chemical Weapons Programme of the Syrian Arab Republic (Joint Mission) continues to urge the authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic to carry out all remaining activities expeditiously.

Key developments
On 27 April 2014, the internal Syrian Arab Republic timeline for the removal of all chemical weapons material passed with close to 8% of material remaining at one storage facility inside Syrian territory. The Syrian Arab Republic had long before informed the Joint Mission that it did not have full security control in the area of that site, and that they had serious concerns about the safety and security of chemical weapons material convoys leaving the facility.
On 28 April 2014, the Syrian Arab Republic reported that armed opposition groups had taken control of two nearby facilities which had previously been emptied of chemical weapons material and expanded their presence in the area, rendering the remaining active storage facility inaccessible by road. The authorities further informed that a military operation was required to access the facility in order to adequately secure the area to allow safe extraction of the chemical weapons material.
On 15 May 2014, in order to destroy the remaining quantities of isopropanol held at the site and to finalize necessary preparations for eventual transportation of chemical weapons material to Latakia, the Syrian Arab Republic chartered an aircraft funded by the Joint Mission to airlift various equipment and packaging materials to the site.
Subsequently, the Syrian Arab Republic authorities destroyed its residual stockpile of isopropanol, and completed preparatory and packaging activities in readiness to remove the last batch of chemical weapons material. As of 20 May 2014, 7.2% percent of the chemical weapons material of Syria remained in country and awaiting swift removal for onward destruction. The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic insisted that final removal operations can be conducted solely through ground transportation when security conditions allow. Officials of Syrian Arab Republic pledged-to- remove the remaining chemical material as soon as possible in the shortest possible timeframe.
Further to the visit of the OPCW Technical Secretariat team from 22 to 28 April 2014, which sought to address technical discrepancies in the original declaration, a second team arrived during the reporting period to focus on subsequent amendments and verification issues. The Syrian Arab Republic extended its constructive cooperation to the Technical Secretariat team in the course of their duties.

Joint Mission activities
The Joint Mission continued its engagement with Syrian Arab Republic officials, impressing the importance of accessing the site holding chemical weapons material and urging them to remove and destroy as relevant all remaining chemical weapons material. The Joint Mission continued outreach activities with contributing international partners and Member States in the region.
The security situation in the Syrian Arab Republic continued to be challenging. In Damascus, shelling and mortar attacks escalated during the reporting period, increasing the risks to Joint Mission and all United Nations personnel. On 6 May 2014, the area near the Joint Mission headquarters was hit by mortar shelling. As a result, one Joint Mission national personnel and another United Nations national staff member were injured when one of the mortars landed close to their home, some 300 meters from the Joint Mission headquarters.
With the destruction and removal of much of the chemical weapons programme completed, and given the volatility of the security situation which continued to pose a significant risk to personnel, the Joint Mission initiated steps to reduce its presence inside the Syrian Arab Republic and adjust its functional footprint to a configuration commensurate to its remaining tasks. A number of Joint Mission personnel have already returned to parent duty stations and others transitioned to the Joint Mission’s support office in Cyprus. The Joint Mission maintained its core operations in Damascus to continue verification and other activities, although it temporarily relocated personnel from Latakia to Damascus pending the resumption of removal and verification operations. The Joint Mission maintained relevant personnel required at the port for remaining verification and inspection activities on stand-by.

Conclusion
Over the last eight months, a large part of the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic has been either removed from its territory or destroyed iii—country, equating to approximately 92% of its chemical weapons material. Preparatory activities for the removal of the remaining quantities have been completed. Other notable achievements during the past eight months include the functional destruction of all declared chemical weapons production and mixing/ filling specialized equipment, rendering it inoperable; the destruction of all unfilled munitions; the destruction of all containers previously holding mustard gas; the destruction of all isopropanol on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic; the closure of eleven out of twelve chemical weapons storage facilities; and the closure of five out of eighteen chemical weapons production facilities, with the modalities for destruction of twelve facilities currently under review in the OPCW Executive Council. All of these activities had been verified and inspected physically by Joint Mission personnel where security conditions allowed and through remote camera sruveillance Where security conditions did not permit physical presence of Joint Mission personnel.
It is imperative that the Syrian Arab Republic concludes remaining removal operations as quickly as possible, as the authorities have pledged to do. However, it is now evident that some activities related to the elimination of the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic Will continue beyond 30 June 2014.
With this in mind, and following consultation with the Director General of OPCW, I foresee that the Joint Mission Will continue its work for a finite period of time beyond 30 June 2014 during which most of the remaining activities for the elimination of the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic should be completed. This will also give sufficient time to put in place appropriate successor arrangements for OPCW to continue any residual in-country verification activities beyond this period.
I continue to be very concerned by allegations regarding the use of chlorine gas in the context of the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic and look forward to the results of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission. I call on the
I want to thank those Member States who continue to provide significant funds and in-kind contributions towards the removal and destruction of chemical weapons material from the Syrian Arab Republic. I am particularly grateful to those Member States providing maritime assistance and support, who have had to deploy in the eastern Mediterranean for considerably longer periods than had been originally envisaged.
Once again, I thank Special Coordinator Kaag and all the personnel of the Joint Mission for their courageous work carried out in challenging and dangerous conditions inside the Syrian Arab Republic.
I would be grateful if you would bring the present letter and its annex urgently to the attention of the members of the Security Council.
Please accept, Mr. President, the assurances of my highest consideration.
BAN Ki-moon
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Thursday, May 15, 2014

French draft resolution on ICC/ Syria in blue

       The Security Council,
      
       PP1 Recalling its resolutions 2042 (2012), 2043 (2012), 2118 (2013) and 2139 (2014), and its Presidential Statements of 3 August 2011, 21 March 2012, 5 April 2012 and 2 October 2013,

       PP2 Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

            PP3  Recalling its full endorsement of the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 which states that accountability for acts committed during the present conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic must be addressed,

          PP4 Taking note of the reports of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, mandated by the Human Rights Council to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law since March 2011 in the Syrian Arab Republic, to establish the facts and circumstances that may amount to such violations and of the crimes perpetrated and, where possible, to identify those responsible with a view to ensuring that perpetrators of violations, including those that may constitute crimes against humanity, are held accountable,

       PP5 Recalling the statements made by the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that crimes against humanity and war crimes are likely to have been committed in the Syrian Arab Republic,

          PP6 Noting the repeated encouragement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court,
           
       PP7 Determining that the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

       PP8 Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,


OP1 Reaffirms its strong condemnation of  the widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the Syrian authorities and pro-government militias, as well as the human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law by non-State armed groups, all committed in the course of the ongoing conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011;

OP2 Decides to refer the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic described in paragraph 1 above since March 2011 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court;

OP3 Decides also that the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic shall cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor, including by implementing fully the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Criminal Court, pursuant to this resolution and, while recognizing that States not party to the Rome Statute have no obligation under the Statute, strongly urges all States and concerned regional and other international organizations to cooperate fully with the Court and the Prosecutor;

OP4 Demands that non-State armed groups in the Syrian Arab Republic also cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor in connection with investigations and prosecutions undertaken pursuant to this resolution;

OP5 Expresses its commitment to an effective follow up of the present resolution;

OP6 Recalls the guidance issued by the Secretary General on contacts with persons who are the subject of arrest warrants or summonses issued by the International Criminal Court;

OP7 Decides that nationals, current or former officials or personnel from a State outside the Syrian Arab Republic which is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Syrian Arab Republic established or authorized by the Council, unless such exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State;

OP8 Recognizes that none of the expenses incurred in connection with the referral, including expenses related to investigations or prosecutions in connection with that referral, shall be borne by the United Nations and that such costs shall be borne by the parties to the Rome Statute and those States that wish to contribute voluntarily and encourages States to make such contributions, noting the need for funding of expenses related to investigations or prosecutions of the International Criminal Court, including in connection with situations referred to the Court by the Security Council, as stated in General Assembly resolution 67/295;

OP9 Invites the Prosecutor to address the Council within two months of the date of adoption of this resolution and every six months thereafter on actions taken pursuant to this resolution and requests the Secretary-General to circulate the report of the Prosecutor as a document of the Council, in advance of such briefings,

OP10 Decides to remain seized of the matter.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Russian draft resolution on Syria

Russian Federation — resolution (May 13, .2014)

The Security Council,
PPl Recalling its Resolution 2139‘ (2014) and its Presidential Statement of 2 October 2013,
PP2 Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,
PP3 Expressing grave alarm at the significant and rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria, in particular the dire situation of hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons as well as civilians trapped in besieged areas or living in hard-to-reach areas,
PP4 Deploring the difficulties in providing necessary humanitarian assistance to all civilians in need inside Syria,
PPS Calling on all parties to respect the UN Guiding Principles of Humanitarian Emergency Assistance, and stressing the importance of such assistance being delivered on the basis of need, devoid of any political prejudices and aims,
PP6 Recognizing practical steps undertaken by the Syrian parties in implementing the requirements of Security Council Resolution 2139 (2014),

OPl Commends the local cease-fire agreement reached between the representatives of the Syrian authorities and the opposition forces in the Old City of Horns which saved the lives of thousands of civilians in this area;
0P2 Strongly supports the efforts in this regard of the United Nations and all local and international humanitarian and medical personnel in Syria, notably of the ICRC, WHO, WP and SARC;
0P3 Emphasizes that the success in Homs has been achieved through the concrete steps made by the Syrian parties on the ground having thus facilitated delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians in the conflict= affected areas and safe return of thousands of internally displaced persons to their homes;
0P4 Urges all parties to the conflict to promptly secure safe and unhindered humanitarian access to people in need in other parts of Syria through the most effective ways, including local cease-fire agreements and across conflict lines and, where appropriate, across borders from neighbouring countries in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles of Humanitarian Emergency Assistance;
OPS Calls upon all parties to fully implement the provisions of Security Council Resolution 2139 (2014);
0P6 Urges all parties to take all appropriate steps to protect civilians, including ethnic, religious and confessional minorities;
0P7 Emphasizes that the humanitarian situation Will continue to deteriorate in the absence of a political solution, and demands that all parties work through all-inclusive Syrian dialogue towards the comprehensive settlement of the crisis with a view. to full implementation of the Geneva Communique of 30 June 2012 endorsed by Security Council Resolution 2118 (2013);
0P8 Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Monday, May 12, 2014

French draft resolution refers Syria to the ICC

The Security Council,

PP1 Recalling its resolutions 2042 (2012), 2043 (2012), 2118 (2013) and 2139 (2014), and its Presidential Statements of 3 August 2011, 21 March 2012, 5 April 2012 and 2 October 2013,

PP2 Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

PP3  Recalling its full endorsement of the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 which states that accountability for acts committed during the present conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic must be addressed,


PP4 Taking note of the reports of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, mandated by the Human Rights Council to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law since March 2011 in the Syrian Arab Republic, to establish the facts and circumstances that may amount to such violations and of the crimes perpetrated and, where possible, to identify those responsible with a view to ensuring that perpetrators of violations, including those that may constitute crimes against humanity, are held accountable,

PP5 Recalling the statements made by the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that crimes against humanity and war crimes are likely to have been committed in the Syrian Arab Republic,

PP6 Noting the repeated encouragement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court,

PP7 Determining that the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

PP8 Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

OP1 Reaffirms its strong condemnation of the widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the Syrian authorities and pro-government militias, as well as the human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law by non-State armed groups, all committed in the course of the ongoing conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011;

OP2 Decides to refer the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic described in paragraph 1 above since March 2011 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court;

OP3 Decides also that the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, shall cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor, including by implementing fully the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Criminal Court, pursuant to this resolution and, while recognizing that States not party to the Rome Statute have no obligation under the Statute, strongly urges all States and concerned regional and other international organizations to cooperate fully with the Court and the Prosecutor;

OP4 Demands that non-State armed groups in the Syrian Arab Republic also cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor in connection with investigations and prosecutions undertaken pursuant to this resolution;

OP5 Expresses its commitment to an effective follow up of the present resolution, in particular regarding issues of cooperation, arrest and transfer to the International Criminal Court of persons against whom arrest warrants are issued;

OP6 Recalls the guidance issued by the Secretary General on contacts with persons who are the subject of arrest warrants or summonses issued by the International Criminal Court;

OP7 Decides that nationals, current or former officials or personnel from a State outside the Syrian Arab Republic which is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Syrian Arab Republic established or authorized by the Council, unless such exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State;

OP8 Recognizes that none of the expenses incurred in connection with the referral, including expenses related to investigations or prosecutions in connection with that referral, shall be borne by the United Nations and that such costs shall be borne by the parties to the Rome Statute and those States that wish to contribute voluntarily and encourages States to make such contributions;

OP9 Invites the Prosecutor to address the Council within two months of the date of adoption of this resolution and every six months thereafter on actions taken pursuant to this resolution and requests the Secretary-General to circulate the report of the Prosecutor as a document of the Council, in advance of such briefings;

OP10 Decides to remain seized of the matter.
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