International agencies establish OPCW-U.N. Joint Mission in Syria

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations established a joint mission on Wednesday to achieve the timely elimination of Syria's chemical weapons program in the most secure manner possible.

The OPCW-U.N. Joint Mission in Syria will continue the work undertaken by the U.N. and the OPCW in Syria since the start of October. The establishment of the joint mission came shortly after consultations between OPCW Director-General Ahmet uzumcu and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The mission conforms with provisions of the decision related to Syria's chemical weapons program taken by the OPCW Executive Council on September 27. The joint mission also conforms with the provisions of the adopted U.N. Security Council resolution 2118.

Sigrid Kaag, a chemical weapons expert from the Netherlands who currently works for the U.N. Development Programme, was appointed as the special coordinator for the OPCW-U.N. Joint Mission.

The U.N. and the OPCW also established separate but complementary trust funds which were launched on Wednesday.

The establishment of the joint mission, appointment of the special coordinator and the arrangements made related to the trust funds are based on recommendations made by Ban with the advice and support of uzumcu, in accordance with a letter written to the presidency of the U.N. Security Council on October 7.