Syria: Chemical Weapons

House of Lords written question – answered on 15th January 2014.

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Photo of Lord Robertson of Port Ellen Lord Robertson of Port Ellen Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will publish any findings by the United Nations about the manufacture and origin of the chemical weapons declared by the Assad regime in Syria.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The findings of the UN inspection mission into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria are set out in their reports of 16 September and 13 December 2013. The inspectors’ mandate was to determine whether chemical weapons had been used, not to determine the place of origin and manufacture of the weapons. However, as part of the process of accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention, Syria is required to make comprehensive declarations regarding its programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). These declarations include detail on the origin of material used to manufacture the weapons. These are classified under the Convention’s confidentiality regime and are available only to States Parties in accordance with OPCW agreed protocols, and are not for public release.

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