July 13, 2023

UN Director, Ebo briefs Security Council, condemns use of chemical weapons

UN Director, Ebo briefs Security Council, condemns use of chemical weapons

By Nnamdi Ojiego

A Director and Deputy to the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Adedeji Ebo, has condemned the use of chemical weapons, stating that it constitutes a serious violation of international law.

Ebo in his statement on Tuesday delivered to the UN Security Council regarding efforts to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria, emphasized the need to identify and punish those involved in the use of chemical weapons to serve as deterrent to others.

“There can be no justification for their use. We must make every effort to ensure the continued resilience of the taboo against these horrific weapons,” he said, adding that “those responsible for such attacks must be identified and held accountable, for the sake of the victims and as a deterrent to future chemical warfare.”

He however , assured the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs would provide support and assistance in efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.

The focus of Mr. Ebo’s briefing was Syria’s compliance with a Security Council resolution aimed at eliminating chemical weapons in the country. He highlighted the ongoing challenges in ensuring Syria’s adherence to the resolution.

Despite the continued engagement of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Syria has yet to fully cooperate with the international community, which Mr. Ebo expressed his disappointment about.

The director pointed out that efforts to arrange consultations between the OPCW and the Syrian authorities have not been successful recently as the country has not provided the requested documents, including those related to activities at the Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC) and the declaration of nerve agent quantities produced at a chemical weapons production facility that Syria had declared as unused for such purposes.

According to Ebo, Syria has also not provided adequate technical information or explanations concerning the detection of a dangerous chemical at the Barzah facilities in November 2018, nor has it shared information about the unauthorized movement of two cylinders associated with the chemical weapon incident in Douma on April 7, 2018.

He stressed the importance of full cooperation by the Syrian Arab Republic with the OPCW Technical Secretariat to address all outstanding issues related to chemical weapons.