UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations on Sunday announced it has formally accepted Syria’s application to join the global Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and said the Middle East country will come under the international chemical weapons treaty effective October 14.
The entire exercise is part of a plan drawn up by the United States and Russia to stave off potential military strikes on Syria over the latter’s alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians in the country’s ongoing civil war.
The framework document of the US-Russia deal says Syria must provide full details of its stockpile within a week – with the chemical arsenal eliminated by mid-2014. If Damascus fails to comply, the deal could be enforced by a UN resolution under Chapter VII of the UN charter (enforcement).
A UN spokesperson in a statement issued in New York said: “The secretary-general, in his capacity as the depositary of the 1992 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their destruction, on Saturday received the formal instrument of accession to the convention by Syria.”
UN chief Ban Ki-moon also welcomed Syria joining the CWC after it received the formal instrument of accession from the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad on Thursday, September 12. “The secretary-general welcomes the accession of the Syrian Arab Republic to this convention,” said the spokesperson. Once a nation is part of the convention, the production and stockpiling of its weapons is banned and the demolition of existing stocks is ordered. Perhaps as a precautionary measure, the UN lawyers asked the Syrian government for information before it could be accepted. Under the CWC, any state might accede at any time.
"The convention will enter into force for the Syrian Arab Republic on the 30th day following the date of deposit of this instrument of accession, October 14," a statement released by UN press office said.
In another statement issued Saturday, Ban welcomed the agreement reached by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry on a framework for the safeguarding and destruction of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.
Meanwhile, the Arms Control Association (ACA) in a statement lauded the US-Russian agreement on Syrian chemical weapons as an “unprecedented breakthrough” that would deny the Assad regime access to this highly lethal arsenal.