Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
U.N. Security Council Presses Syria on Chemical Removal
The U.N. Security Council on Thursday urged Syria's government to accelerate its handover of lethal warfare chemicals, the Associated Press reports.
The 15-nation body said Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime should "expedite actions to meet its obligation to transport in a systematic and sufficiently accelerated manner all relevant chemicals" to Latakia, a Mediterranean port where they are to be loaded onto transport vessels and taken abroad for neutralization.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have judged the government in Damascus to possess "sufficient material and equipment" to rapidly move its chemical-warfare stocks across Syria's strife-ridden territory, the Security Council noted.
Assad's regime has requested electronics and bomb-tracking gear for the task. Such equipment must come directly from other countries, because its potential utility in the country's civil war precludes its provision by international authorizes, said Sigrid Kaag, the special coordinator of the international operation to eliminate the Syrian government's chemical arsenal.
Still, Kaag played down the possibility that Damascus is intentionally moving slowly to relinquish its chemical stockpile.
"We've seen so far constructive cooperation," the official said to journalists.
Washington's envoy to the United Nations voiced greater skepticism about the Syrian government's intentions.
"We know the regime has the ability to move these weapons and materials because they have moved them multiple times over the course of this conflict. It is time for the Assad government to stop its foot-dragging, establish a transportation plan, and stick to it," U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told reporters.
Power said removal delays are "encouraging heightened risks that these weapons will be used again, by regime elements, or will fall into the hands of terrorists."
Kaag added that her team wants to see chemical-arms materials taken out of Syria along a predetermined timeline in "volume-based predictable movements," Reuters reported. To date, Assad's regime has placed in foreign custody two loads of warfare chemicals amounting to less than five percent of its total arsenal.
Kaag added, though, that the government has progressed in eliminating certain chemical-arms materials within Syria's borders. She did not elaborate on her comment in the wire service report.
Oct. 31, 2013
This CNS issue brief examines the lessons learned from dismantling Libya and Iraq's chemical weapons programs and what these two cases presage for disarmament in Syria. In particular, this article explores the challenges relating to ensuring material and physical security for both inspectors and the chemical weapons stockpile itself; verifying the accuracy and completeness of disclosed inventories; and developing effective monitoring and verification regimes for the long-term. The conclusion examines recommendations stemming from this analysis.
Oct. 21, 2013
The UNSCR 1540 Resource Collection examines implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in all of the regions and countries of the world to-date.
This article provides an overview of Syria's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.