Tag Archives: Chemical Weapons
4 December 2013
A Danish cargo vessel is due to load Syria’s chemical arms stockpile and transfer it to a US ship in early January 2014. The plan, which has not yet been finalised, has been drawn up by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
The Guardian reports that it is not yet clear whether the transfer between the two ships of about 500 tonnes of lethal chemicals, including nerve agents, will be done at sea or when both vessels are docked, and that both options have serious challenges. So far, no Mediterranean port has agreed to host the transfer on land.
Source: The Guardian | Syria's chemical weapons to be shipped in delicate US-Danish operation
20 November 2013
The New York Times reports that the United States is considering plans to place the chemical components of the weapons on a barge at sea where they would be dissolved or incinerated.
Officials from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is operating in Syria to locate and identify the weapons, would monitor the destruction, which would be carried out following safety standards set by legislation in the United States and the European Union. By destroying the weapons in international waters, the effort would not require approval by any particular country.
Earlier, Albania and Norway turned down an appeal by the United States to destroy the weapons on its territory. A US official said that the United States has not given up on finding a country that would accept the 1,000 tons of precursors and other chemicals in Syria’s arsenal.
Source: The New York Times | Options Narrowed, U.S. Is Said to Weigh Destroying Syrian Chemicals at Sea
27 October 2013
On Friday 25 October, Norway declined a request to help destroy Syria’s chemical arsenal. The reasons for the refusal of Norway were constraints of the regulatory framework as well as the time pressure for the destruction of the weapons. The United States keeps trying to identify states that can assist in the destruction of the chemical weapons.
Source: The New York Times | Norway Rejects U.S. Request to Help Destroy Syrian Chemical Weapons
23 October 2013
According to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, the United Nations has asked Norway to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons. According to news reports this follows up on an earlier request made by Russia and the United States.
The Jerusalem Post had a story on this 20 days ago, see here.
Source: The Washington Post | Norway mulls taking and destroying the bulk of Syria’s chemical arsenal
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9 October 2013
Besides the almost 100 United Nations and chemical weapons experts that will be deployed over the coming months in a joint mission (with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), to oversee the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that a staging area and support base will be established in Cyprus (due to the dangers on the ground in Syria), and that the UN contribution will primarily be for logistics, security, liaison, medical support, communications and administration.
Ban Ki-moon called upon UN member states ‘to offer their full support to the work of the Joint Mission including through the provision of financial, material, technical and operational assistance’ to carry out last month’s Security Council resolution on the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons material and equipment. In phase three (from 1 November to 30 June 2014), the joint mission will be expected to support, monitor and verify the destruction of a ‘complex chemical weapons programme involving multiple sites.’ In this phase, ‘it is highly probable that assistance by other Member States will be required in the areas of the provision of both technical and operational advice, support and equipment, as well as security and possibly other areas in order to successfully complete the destruction and/or removal activities within the allotted time’, according to the Secretary-General.
Source: UN News Centre | Ban seeks 100-member joint mission to oversee destruction of Syrian chemical weapons