Remarks by Albana Dautllari, Deputy P.R of the Republic of Albania to the UN and President of the Security Council for the month of September, at the Security Council meeting on Syria – Chemical Weapons

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September 7, 2023

Thank you, USG Nakamitsu, for the briefing.

It is deplorable that the Syrian regime continues to refuse to fully cooperate with the international community regarding the Program of the Chemical Weapons.

It is time for Syria to understand that it must fully declare and destroy its chemical weapons program in a transparent and verifiable manner.

There is no other alternative for Syria than to fully cooperate with the OPCW, in compliance with resolution 2118 (2013).

The 119 monthly Report of the Director-General of OPCW confirms once again, unfortunately, this position of Syria.

Since September 2022 the OPCW Secretariat has provided the Syrian Arab Republic with the list of pending declarations and other documents requested by the Declarations Assessment Team.

There are 20 outstanding issues that need to be clarified. The Syrian Arab Republic has refused by now to do it, violating the UNSC Resolution 2118 (2013).

We regret the fact that due to the uncooperative position taken by the Syrian regime, DAT has had to deploy a reduced team to carry out limited activities in the country while at the same time, we are awaiting for the next round of consultations between DAT and the Syrian National Authority. Syria continues to create artificial obstacles, such as issuing of visa to DAT’s lead technical expert since April 2021.

This is unacceptable.

The rounds of the consultations should resume as soon as possible and should include all experts designated by the Secretariat.

Albania condemns the blocking policy of Syria and calls on Syrian national authorities to fully comply with the international commitments.

To this regard, we would like to bring to attention the work of the Office of the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) and its reports that identify the perpetrators of the use of chemicals as weapons in Syria.

We fully endorse the findings of the report that the Assad regime is responsible for the deadly chemical weapons attack on Douma on April 7, 2018.

Albania commends the work of the OPCW which verifies the facts with objectivity, impartiality, independence, and professionalism.

We reiterate our strong condemnation of the repeated use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime. The use of chemical weapons is unacceptable anywhere, by anyone, and under any circumstances.

Albania stresses the importance for the Security Council to take responsibility for implementing its resolutions, and in this context these regular meetings are a necessity.

Impunity for those who have used chemical weapons can never be an option.

Thank you.

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