UN accepts Syria chemical arms treaty application
United Nations: The United Nations has accepted Syria's application to join the chemical weapons convention, with its chief Ban Ki-moon pledging support to implement a deal reached by Russia and the US in this regard.
Syria applied on Thursday to join the convention, which bans the production and stockpiling of chemical weapons and orders the destruction of existing stocks. But UN lawyers asked Syria for detail data before it could be accepted.
"The Secretary-General, in his capacity as the depositary of the 1992 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, yesterday received the formal instrument of accession to the Convention by Syria," a UN spokesperson said.
"The Secretary-General welcomes the accession of the Syrian Arab Republic to this Convention," the official said.
Under the Convention, any State may accede to it at any time. The Convention will enter into force for Syria on the 30th day following the date of deposit of this instrument of accession, on October 14, 2013.
Ban pledges UN support to implementing the accord reached by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry, said the spokesperson.
"The secretary general expresses his fervent hope that the agreement will, first, prevent any future use of chemical weapons in Syria and, second, help pave the path for a political solution to stop the appalling suffering inflicted on the Syrian people," the official said.
Syrian opposition and the West have accused President Bashar Al-Assad's forces of using chemical weapons on August 21 in a Damascus suburb, a charge denied by the government.
In a statement, Arms Control Association said while there are many further, challenging steps ahead, the agreement is an unprecedented breakthrough that would deny the Assad regime access to this dangerous arsenal and significantly reduce the risk that the government can use chemical weapons again, either inside Syria or against neighbouring states.
The first test of Syrian cooperation will be the delivery of a declaration of its CW stockpile "within a week".