OPCW receives $15.2 million in support for Syria mission

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has received $15.2 million in contributions from 14 different countries to support the mission to destroy Syria's chemical weapons, the OPCW announced on Saturday.

Sigrid Kaag, the special coordinator for the OPCW-U.N. Joint Mission, made the remarks on Saturday as part of a press statement. According to Kaag, $15.2 million was received for the OPCW's verification activities in Syria.

"I have written to all Member States detailing projected urgent requirements made by the government for logistics and security support and the response has been very positive," Kaag said.

A separate trust fund was established for the destruction work, which will be conducted by private companies. Kaag said the OPCW mission will require between $47.4 million and $54.2 million to complete the destruction.

Kaag discussed recent achievements in the destruction effort, including the Syrian government's recent report that it completed destruction of all category III items, including unfilled bombs and warheads. The joint mission verified the destruction of 63 percent of all declared category III items and is conducting visits to verify the destruction of the items in all relevant sites in Damascus. The mission will conduct similar visits in Homs when security conditions allow.

Syria's government is also starting to destroy specialized and standard equipment that belongs to chemical weapons production facilities. The joint mission plans to commence verification activities at these sites shortly.

Kaag expressed her appreciation for all Member States supporting the mission through financial and in kind contributions.

"The resolve to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons in a secure manner reflects a collective commitment," Kaag said. "Maximum efforts are being exerted by all stakeholders to ensure that all necessary arrangements are in place to facilitate implementation. We have a challenging road ahead of us and sustained support from the international community remains essential."