Delivered by: Ms. Shahad Matar

Unofficial Translation

Check Against Delivery

Mr. President,

I thank Ms. Nakamitsu for her briefing today.

At the outset, I would like to reiterate in today’s speech what we have repeatedly said regarding this file, starting with the UAE’s principled position of rejecting and condemning the use of chemical weapons anywhere, by anyone, under any circumstances. The use of these weapons constitutes a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention and international law.

Considering that an agreement to hold a round of limited consultations between the Syrian authorities and the Declaration Assessment Team of the OPCW in Beirut was not reached, we reiterate that consultations and dialogue are critical to assess the status of outstanding issues and to hold discussions on making progress in this file. This requires the concerned parties to reach a compromise. We hope that the obstacles to holding these consultations will be overcome before the next meeting of the Council on this matter.

We affirm that chemical weapons must be eliminated and no one shall have access to or use them, whether inside or outside Syria. The fact that these weapons could be obtained by terrorist organizations, which seek to use them for destructive purposes, poses a serious threat to both regional and internal security and stability. Considering the continued attempts by Da’esh to launch attacks and develop its combat capabilities, it is critical to strengthen our efforts in the fight against Da’esh to prevent this organization from rearranging its ranks and acquiring chemical weapons.

In conclusion, Mr. President, the UAE stresses the importance of making progress on the chemical weapons file and in all files related to resolving the Syrian crisis.

Thank you, Mr. President.