News / Middle East

UN: Destruction of Syria's Chemical Weapons Moving Ahead

Sigrid Kaag, head of the U.N. team charged with destroying Syria's chemical weapons, addressing reporters in Damascus, Oct. 22, 2013.
Sigrid Kaag, head of the U.N. team charged with destroying Syria's chemical weapons, addressing reporters in Damascus, Oct. 22, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
The international special coordinator overseeing the removal and destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons said Wednesday that despite insecurity, she hopes to meet the mission’s deadline of the end of June.
 
Sigrid Kaag briefed the U.N. Security Council in a closed session on progress as well as logistical and security challenges, confirming that the first quantity of chemical materials was loaded onto a Danish ship Tuesday at the Syrian port of Latakia for destruction outside the country.
 
“This movement is very important, as it is a first important step in an expected process of continued movement for the onward destruction out of country,” she said.
 
The joint mission of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has struggled with some setbacks, including bad weather and a volatile security situation, putting it slightly behind schedule. Asked if the mission could still meet its end of June deadline for destroying all of Syria’s chemical weapons, Kaag was cautiously optimistic.
 
“I didn’t say we are on schedule, but what we talked about is a collective expectation by the Security Council" that there is no reason to assume delays would occur," she said. "All things being equal, we also have to remember Syria is a country at war; [the] security situation can shift from day to day."

The mission is moving into its third phase of activities, the destruction of chemical agents, which is to be completed by the end of June.
 
The United States is providing technology for destroying the chemicals aboard a U.S. ship, as well as 3,000 container drums, GPS trackers, and equipment to facilitate loading, transportation and decontamination of the chemicals.
 
The Syrian government is responsible for the safe packaging and loading of the chemicals onto Danish and Norwegian ships which will carry the cargo to the U.S. ship. The chemicals will then be destroyed at sea.
 
In September, the U.N. Security Council demanded the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal after Western countries blamed the government for an August 21 poison gas attack that killed some 1,400 people near Damascus.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid