Delivered By: Ms. Shahad Matar, Spokesperson

Mr. President,

I thank Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu for her briefing today.

In the context of today’s meeting on the chemical file, the UAE reiterates its explicit rejection and condemnation of the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances. Their use constitutes a flagrant violation of both the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention and international law.

The UAE also reiterates the importance of continuing a constructive and constant dialogue between the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Syrian authorities to resolve pending issues. We believe that communicating solely through written correspondence will not achieve this purpose, and we stress the need to work on a sustainable solution to move forward on this file. Therefore, we look forward to the upcoming meeting between the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Director General of the OPCW, and we hope that this meeting is productive.  

Mr. President,

It is unfortunate that the latest report did not contain any new developments that warrant convening this meeting. Our current positions have not changed and are clear to everyone. They are also documented in our statements and in the minutes of meetings of the open briefings.

In this regard, I would like to remind my colleagues of the importance of using the time and resources of this body wisely. This means that our meetings have to be effective, both in frequency and content. We all share in the responsibility in evaluating our work on this file. Therefore, we should reconsider the number of meetings held by the Council regarding the chemical weapons track, and when there are developments that require convening a meeting, the UAE will be supportive of those requests. The chemical weapons track is an important file, and achieving any progress could contribute, along with other factors, to paving the way for an end to the Syrian crisis.

Thank you, Mr. President.