Delegates express frustration over U.N. disarmament efforts

U.N. First Committee Member States condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria and expressed frustration on Thursday over the "malaise" of the United Nation's disarmament efforts.

A delegate from the U.S. called the killing of more than 1,000 Syrians on Aug. 21 with chemical weapons "senseless." The delegate said the inspectors from the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons currently working to destroy chemical weapons in Syria are a "step forward."

The U.S. delegate also noted that 98 percent of the world's leaders are in favor of eliminating the use of all chemical weapons. For its part, the U.S. has destroyed 90 percent of its chemical weapons and is committed to non-proliferation.

Still, delegates expressed frustration with the "malaise" of the U.N.'s chemical and biological weapons disarmament efforts.

The U.N. Register of Conventional Arms has seen a "downward trend" in the number of countries that submit reports. In 2012, there were 52 reports submitted to the group, which is comprised of 15 Member States.

Deputy Director of the Department for Security Affairs and Disarmament Vladimir Yermakov said the Russian Federation has been frustrated with the "stagnation" of the U.N.'s disarmament machinery "for many years."

The U.N.'s disarmament efforts have been undermined by political factors, and the "smallest swerving" of any state has negatively impacted negotiations, Yermakov said.