EU contributes $16.42 million to OPCW-UN Joint Mission in Syria

Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Ahmet uzumcu announced on Friday that OPCW received a $16.42 million contribution from the European Union to supports its mission in Syria.

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the EU Baroness Catherine Ashton announced that the EU would make the contribution to help expedite the destruction of commercial chemicals in Syria. The OPCW also released a statement on Friday asking for contributions to help complete its joint mission in Syria.

The OPCW-United Nations Joint Mission in Syria began in August and seeks to destroy the stockpile of chemical weapons in Syria. The mission began after a chemical weapon attack took place near Damascus on August 21, 2013, killing 300 people immediately. The Violations Documentation Centre counts the final death toll at 588, including the deaths of 135 women and 108 children, according to the BBC.

Syria acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention after this attack took place. The OPCW-UN Joint Mission began almost immediately afterward to ensure no more persons could be harmed by chemical weapons in Syria.

uzumcu thanked Ashton and the EU for their support of the joint mission and longstanding and continual support of the objectives of the CWC. The EU has offered significant support to the OPCW since its inception to support a multitude of programs for the global elimination of chemical weapons.