Syria UNOPCW mission expects intensified efforts as chemical weapons deadline slips

In New York, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric confirmed the Joint Mission’s concerns about the missed deadline and told reporters that it expects immediate action to initiate the high pace and scale of operations for the removal of all chemical weapons materials as safely as possible by 27 April. “Missing the 27 April timeline could have serious impact on the completion of the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons programme by 30 June,” said the spokesperson.“It is up to the Member States to discuss the progress of the operation, based on factual input from the Joint Mission. The Mission says that the current pace is of serious concern.”The removal of the most critical material for destruction began in early January, in line with an agreement brokered by Russia and the United States under which Syria renounced its chemical weapons material and joined the 1992 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons.

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