News / Middle East

Syria Takes First Step Toward Joining CW Treaty

Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari shows a document to reporters at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Sept. 12, 2013.
Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari shows a document to reporters at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Sept. 12, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
Syria has taken its first step toward joining an international treaty banning the production and use of chemical weapons.

U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters the U.N. received a document Thursday from the Syrian government that concerns its accession to the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.

“There is a process to be followed to join the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty and this is a step towards that," said Haq.

Haq said the United Nations is translating and reviewing the document.

The Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 prohibits the development, production, acquisition and use of chemical weapons by signatories. Only seven countries, including Syria, have until now not ratified this treaty.

This week, Syria confirmed long-held international suspicions that it possesses chemical weapons.

Some published reports say the government of President Bashar al-Assad has more than 1,000 tons of the chemical agents sarin, VX and mustard gas.

Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told reporters they have placed this instrument of accession with the U.N. secretary-general, who is the depository for the treaty.

“With this, the chapter of the so-called chemical weapons should be ended. And legally speaking, Syria has become - starting today - a full member of the convention," said  Ja’afari.

But experts say this is only a first step.

Acceding to the treaty will commit the Syrian government to quickly declare its chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities. Then, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - which is the implementing authority for the convention - will need to verify these claims through on-site inspections.

Finally, Article 19 of the Treaty says the Convention is subject to ratification by states that are signatories according to their respective constitutional processes.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
September 12, 2013 9:18 PM
After the US threatened missile attack at Syria, Assad has finally signed the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, leaving six other countries left to sign the protocol. But signing is only a first step for Assad. He has to surrender all the chemical weapons and the ingredients to international custody and unhindered UN inspection. Removal of the chemicals is dangerous. The best way is to implement the protocol is for Assad to assemble all the chemical weapons at on place. A plant is to be constructed to safely destroy the chemical weapons and it will necessitate thousands of people employed under the supervision of the UN. How it can be accomplished by Assad/UN in a country with civil war. So the chemical weapons will remain inside Syria for a long time to come. Just signing the Convention will not absolve Assad the crime committed to the Syrians, just like a gunmen returning a gun to police after killing people. Assad has to be punished for the crimes he already committed. Is Obama bold enough to punish Assad as Obama declared? Can Assad be cited by the International Court of Justice for crimes against humanity? Putin of Russia has more interest in avoiding missile strike at Assad regime to protect the Russian naval base at Tartar in the Mediterranean coast of Syria by keeping Assad in power. The aggressive announcements of Obama is tamed by Putin's fast action while Obama is quibbling for more than two years for any action in Syria.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid