Delivered by: Ms. Ghasaq Shaheen, Political Coordinator

Madam President,

I thank Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu for her briefing today.

Before I start on the topic of our meeting today on the chemical weapons file, I would like to first welcome the decision taken by the Arab countries yesterday to readmit Syria to the League of Arab States, which was based on our shared belief in the importance of an effective Arab role for resolving Arab crises and restoring security and stability to the region. We hope that this step will pave the way for a solution to the Syrian crisis through an Arab approach and that the Syrian people will finally see a glimmer of hope after years of war.

In the context of today’s meeting, the UAE reaffirms the following points:  

First, engaging in a meaningful dialogue with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and Syria is necessary for any tangible progress in this file. We stress here the need to embody a spirit of cooperation that is based on the technical and foundational principles of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which include consensus and non-politicization. Regarding the visit of the Organization’s small team to Syria last month, we stress the importance of moving forward with holding comprehensive consultations between the two parties as soon as possible.

There is no reason not to proceed with this step. In this context, we welcome Syria’s proposal to hold a round of high-level consultations to develop a new plan of action to resolve issues related to the Syrian chemical file.

Second, the threat of chemical terrorism remains an important issue that must be given sufficient attention, especially while Da’esh continues launching terrorist attacks that pose serious threats to the security and stability of Syria. We must be vigilant; as we have seen before, this terrorist organization will not hesitate to use any weapons or means to achieve its goals and re-establish its control.

Third, it is important to examine the effectiveness of this Council’s recurring meetings on the Syrian chemical file, especially when there are no developments that warrant holding a meeting. Instead, we could look into holding meetings on this issue every three months, as needed.

In conclusion, the UAE stresses once again the importance of making progress in the chemical weapons file in Syria. We look forward to witnessing tangible advancements in all tracks related to the Syrian file in the coming period.

Thank you, Madam President.