The member states at the organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons voted on a resolution banning the export of chemical materials and toxic gas manufacturing to Syria, supporting international investigative mechanisms, and enhancing the efforts to confront the chemical threats.
The resolution, which was adopted by 48 countries during the 28th Session of the State Parties Conference to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), was supported by 69 states, while 10 voted against it and 45 abstained.
The resolution, titled “Addressing the Threat from Chemical Weapons Use and the Threat of Future Use”, prevented the sale or transfer the raw materials and equipment to Syria, which could be used to produce the toxic gas and nerve gas.
The resolution included measures to strengthen the export rules and to prevent the direct and indirect supply, sale, and transfer of chemical precursors, dual-use chemical manufacturing facilities and equipment, and related technology in favor of Assad regime.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a statement that its annual conference decided to stop the continued possession and use of chemical weapons by Assad regime due to its refusal to provide (OPCW) an accurate inventory of its storage and to destroy the undeclared chemical weapons, including the weapons and materials and production facilities.
According to the resolution, “Assad regime’s continuation to possess and use of chemical weapons and its failure to submit a complete and accurate declaration and to destroy all its undeclared chemical weapons and its production facilities, caused severe damage to the object and aim of the Chemical Weapons Convention.”
For the first time since the signing of Chemical Weapons Convention, the resolution seeks to implement the third paragraph of the twelfth article of the Convention, stipulating for the “measures the States Parties can take to ensure compliance.”
According to the resolution, “the Assad regime’s continued possession and use of chemical weapons and its failure to provide an accurate and complete declaration and destroy all undeclared chemical weapons and their production facilities, caused significant damage to the object and aim of Chemical Weapons Convention.
For the first time since the signing of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the resolution seeks to implement the third paragraph of Article XII of the convention, which stipulates “measures that States Parties can take to ensure compliance.”
The resolution calls on states parties “to provide support and assistance in relation to criminal investigations or criminal proceedings to national and international accountability efforts, including the UN-established international, impartial and independent mechanism.
The resolution also calls on the Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons “to continue enhancing the assigned capabilities to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use, and to ensure the retention of knowledge and experience accumulated through previous missions.”
The resolution also encourages States Parties “to exchange information on national measures, such as completed domestic investigations and legal proceedings relating to chemical weapons, through the OPCW Open-ended Working Group on Terrorism, to benefit from lessons learned and develop best practices in responding to chemical weapons attacks and threat.”
Reuters reported on November, 30, 2023 that 10 Syrian human rights groups, international legal experts and other figures are leading efforts to set the foundation for a new court based on international treaties that can prosecute the Assad regime for chemical weapons attacks.
The agency quoted the British lawyer and member of the United Nations International Law Commission, Dapo Akande, as saying that the new court “will be an attempt to fill a gap in the sense that it will mainly be dedicated to cases in which the International Criminal Court is unable to exercise its jurisdiction,” stressing that the establishment of the court will be particularly innovative in this regard.