OPCW director-general issues statement on Syria proposal

Ahmet uzumcu, the director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said on Tuesday the international body would support efforts to destroy chemical weapons in light of the recent Syria proposal.

uzumcu noted the proposal to put the Syrian stockpile of chemical weapons under international control and the resulting reactions. The OPCW is the implementing authority for the Chemical Weapons Convention, which bans the use, stockpiling, production and development of chemical weapons. All States Parties to the CWC are obligated to declare and destroy whatever chemical weapons they possess under the international verification of the OPCW.

The director-general said the CWC was based on zero tolerance for chemical weapons. He said the OPCW is committed to promoting the universality of the zero tolerance policy and is ready to support international efforts to strengthen the norm.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently stated that he is considering asking the U.N. Security Council to demand the immediate transfer of Syria's chemical weapons stocks. The stockpiles would be transferred to places inside Syria where they could be safety stored and destroyed. Ban also urged Syria to join the CWC.

Syria is not a party to the CWC, though it is a party to the Geneva Protocol of 1925 that prohibits the use of biological and chemical weapons.