Check against delivery.

At the outset, I would like to thank Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, for her briefing.

The total elimination of chemical weapons is a shared goal among the international community considering the horrific effects of their use. In this context, we reiterate the UAE’s principled position that rejects and condemns the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance, by anyone, and anywhere — especially considering their use constitutes a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention and international law and is also a serious threat to international peace and security.

As for today’s discussion, any tangible progress in the chemical weapons file of the Syrian crisis requires addressing the existing gaps. In principle, a constructive and meaningful dialogue between the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Syrian Arab Republic should be encouraged.

Furthermore, the modalities of their cooperation should be improved upon in line with the principles on which the Organization was established and its technical nature, which includes consensus, and non-politicization. We believe that facilitating the Declaration Assessment Team’s visit to Syria will contribute to achieving these goals.

In the context of the presence of terrorist groups and armed militia in Syria, such as the terrorist organization Da’esh, and these groups’ efforts to develop their weapons and combat capabilities, special importance should be given to prevent terrorists from obtaining chemical weapons, in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions. Accordingly, we stress the importance of continuing to combat Da’esh in Syria, to prevent them from reorganizing their ranks or acquiring chemical weapons.

In conclusion, the UAE stresses the need to continue working with state parties and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to eliminate this threat, which poses a grave threat to international peace and security. We also note the importance of ensuring progress on the chemical weapons file in accordance with Security Council resolution 2118 of 2013.