Global Security Newswire
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Western Powers Seek U.N. Backing of Syria Chemical Disarmament Plan
The United Kingdom on Monday said it would join France and the United States in pushing the U.N. Security Council to "enshrine" a U.S.-Russian plan reached late last week to deprive Syrian President Bashar Assad of his chemical-warfare stockpiles, the Washington Post reported.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague told reporters that the global community is ready to hold the Syrian regime accountable if it fails to fully meet the terms of the disarmament blueprint unveiled on Saturday. Secretary of State John Kerry made final changes to the U.S.-drafted proposal later endorsed by Moscow, an Obama insider told the Post for a separate Monday report.
One government insider said the top diplomats had "agreed to seek a strong and robust [Security Council] resolution that sets precise and binding deadlines with a calendar," Reuters reported.
The U.S.-Russian plan "has to be enforced," Kerry said on Monday. "If the Assad regime believes that this is not enforceable and that we are not serious, they will play games,” he added at a press conference after meeting with Hague and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
Assad's key opponents could join peace talks planned as international discussion continues on the chemical-disarmament plan, the Associated Press quoted Fabius as saying on Monday. Resistance fighters, though, believe the arrangement gives Assad's regime license to intensify other kinds of attacks, the New York Times reported on Sunday. Conventional force has been chiefly responsible for killing more than 100,000 people to date in Syria's civil war.
In a report released on Monday, a U.N. task force concluded there is "clear and convincing evidence" that a relatively significant sarin nerve agent strike took place on Aug. 21 in a Damascus suburb. The gassed area was held by opponents of Assad.
President Obama has said military action is still on the table if Damascus fails to meet its obligations under the arrangement, Reuters reported. U.S. military forces remain poised to attack Syrian government targets in response to last month's nerve agent strike.
Any push for armed strikes would face Russian opposition, but Moscow has indicated it could support punitive U.N. actions short of force over potential missteps by Assad's regime, the wire service said.
The U.S.-Russian arrangement requires Damascus within days to declare all its chemical-weapon stocks. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is expected before December to complete an initial on-the-ground investigation of the arsenal.
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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.
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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.
This article provides an overview of Syria's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.