Participation in Intensive Training Course on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Organized by the Asser Institute of International and European Law and the OPCW

SNHR

Paris – Statement by the Syrian Network for Human Rights:
 
The Asser Institute of International and European Law and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) recently held a specific training course on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The five-day training course, which ran from September 27 to October 1, 2021, included intensive daily working sessions which lasted from morning until evening. The training course was attended by Fadel Abdul Ghany, representing the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).
 
Mr. Fernando Arias, the Director-General of the OPCW, delivered the opening speech at the event.
The training course dealt with the most prominent issues facing those working in the field of disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and analyzed weapons of mass destruction from the geopolitical point of view, as well as examining the implementation and enforcement of international law.
 
The training focused on chemical weapons in particular since the course content centered on developments and scientific progress in the field of disarmament of chemical and biological weapons. In addition, the training addressed the Conference on Chemical Disarmament and the Conference on Biological Disarmament, as well as analyzing the mechanisms of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ work, the work of the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), the dangers of terrorism using chemical weapons, and methods of response.
 
Dr. Gareth Williams, Head of Safety and Analytical Chemistry Cell at the OPCW, spoke about the classification and types of chemical weapons, and talked about the challenges posed by the continued use of chemical weapons, especially in Syria, where this threatens the principles of the Chemical Disarmament Convention in particular with regard to a member state (the Syrian regime’s government) using chemical weapons.
 
Mr. Santiago Onate, Coordinator of the Investigation and Identification Team, spoke about the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the tools available within the convention that protect the team’s credibility, and the team’s role in implementing the convention.
 
Mr. Onate also spoke about the steps taken by the OPCW and Member States to confront the use of chemical weapons in Syria, referring to the establishment of the Fact-Finding Mission, which confirmed the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and spoke about the valid doubts concerning the Syrian regime’s declaration of its chemical weapons arsenal, as well as addressing the methodology of the ITT’s two reports, confirming the findings that the chemical attacks in al Latamena addressed in the first report were carried out using helicopters belonging to the Syrian regime’s Air Force, and in the second report that the use of chlorine gas via dropping two gas cylinders was also proven to have been perpetrated by helicopters belonging to the Syrian regime’s Air Force.
 

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