First, I would like to thank USG Ms. Nakamitsu for her briefing.
I would like to begin by reiterating Japan’s principles on this chemical weapons file: any use of chemical weapons, anywhere, at any time, by anyone, under any circumstances is unacceptable and those responsible for their use must be held accountable.
For this purpose, we strongly support the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the OPCW and reaffirm the importance of the ongoing work of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) and the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) in establishing the truth regarding the alleged instances of chemical weapons use and identifying the perpetrators.
We extend our full support to their impartial, independent, and professional work, and welcome the third IIT report on the Douma incident.
Syria’s chemical weapons use remains a threat to international peace and security. We maintain deep concerns regarding the continuing discrepancies, gaps and inconsistencies in Syria’s initial and subsequent declarations.
We welcome the continued efforts undertaken by the OPCW and its Technical Secretariat to address all outstanding issues, including the second round of limited in-country activities conducted by the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT) in Syria. We look forward to hearing the outcome of the visit during our next meeting.
However, we regret to hear that the recent efforts to hold the next round of consultations between the DAT and the Syrian National Authority have unfortunately been unsuccessful once again.
Syria should take the necessary steps to facilitate the holding of these consultations, and refrain from making further excuses to impede the entry of the DAT’s lead technical expert to its territory.
We once again urge Syria to comply with its obligations under the CWC and relevant Security Council resolutions and to immediately declare and completely eliminate its chemical weapons program.
As highlighted by USG Ms. Nakamitsu, the Fifth CWC Review Conference is scheduled to take place later this month. We strongly urge all States Parties to actively and constructively participate in this RevCon discussion.
This is not the time to diminish the authority of the CWC or the OPCW. Instead, now is the time for this Council to stand united and demonstrate our strong support for their invaluable contributions to the global efforts towards the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons use.
I thank you, Madam President.