Statement by H.E. Ambassador SHINO Mitsuko, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on “the situation in the Middle East (Syria chemical weapons)”


Mr. President,
I thank Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs for her briefing.
The use of chemical weapons should never be tolerated anywhere, at any time, by anyone, under any circumstances.
It is our shared responsibility to hold those who have used chemical weapons accountable and bring justice to the victims.
Japan commends the impartial, independent and professional work conducted by the OPCW. 
Japan strongly supports the ongoing work of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) and the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT).

The IIT’s reports, including the most recent one on the use of chemical weapons in Marea in 2015, play a crucial role in establishing the truth regarding the alleged instances of chemical weapons use in Syria and identifying the perpetrators.
We strongly oppose any attempts to undermine their invaluable work.
The use of chemical weapons by Syria remains a clear threat to international peace and security. It is truly regrettable that we have not seen concrete progress on this file since our last meeting in March.
The latest monthly report by the Director-General of OPCW showed that continuing discrepancies, gaps and inconsistencies in Syria’s declarations remain unresolved.
We are seriously concerned about the presence of unexpected chemicals collected by the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT) between 2020 and 2023 in Syria, which may indicate potentially undeclared research and development or production of chemical weapons.
Syria has not provided accurate and complete declarations or documents requested by the OPCW Secretariat to resolve the outstanding issues.

In this regard, Syria must comply fully and faithfully with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Conventions and Security Council Resolution 2118.
Mr. President,
Japan, once again, calls upon all Security Council members to urge the Syrian Government to declare and eliminate its entire chemical weapons program to prevent the recurrence of the use of chemical weapons.
Japan believes the Council should remain seized regularly on this matter.
I thank you.