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UN official: Syria coop. on chemical weapons bearing positive results

NEW YORK, June 12 (KUNA) -- Renewed cooperation between Syrian authorities and the Declaration Assessment Team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has borne positive results, said the United Nations' disarmament chief.
High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu made the statement in a briefing during a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) late Tuesday.
However, she underlined that further cooperation is needed, as Council members debated whether the organ should continue to meet on this file despite slow progress in its resolution.
She welcomed the "positive impacts of this renewed cooperation", which began with resumed consultations between the Team and the Government in October 2023.
Urging further cooperation, she stressed that out of 24 outstanding issues opened by the Team since 2014, 17 remain unresolved, elaborating that such issues concern undeclared research; the production or weaponization of unknown quantities of chemical weapons; and significant quantities of chemical warfare agents, precursors or chemical munitions whose fate has not yet been fully verified by OPCW.
In this context, the UN disarmament urged all parties involved to not only maintain, but to enhance, cooperation going forward to resolve all outstanding issues regarding Syria's initial and subsequent declarations.
Echoing the UN Secretary-General's call to end impunity for all those who dare to use chemical weapons, especially against civilians, she said that the United Nations will continue to support all efforts to uphold the norm against the use of chemical weapons.
She added: "I urge the members of this Council to unite on this issue and show leadership in demonstrating that impunity in the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated." (end) ast.mt