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

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More