9 October 2013
Ban Ki-moon seeks support for joint mission to destroy chemical weapons in Syria
Besides the almost 100 United Nations and chemical weapons experts that will be deployed over the coming months in a joint mission (with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), to oversee the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that a staging area and support base will be established in Cyprus (due to the dangers on the ground in Syria), and that the UN contribution will primarily be for logistics, security, liaison, medical support, communications and administration.
Ban Ki-moon called upon UN member states ‘to offer their full support to the work of the Joint Mission including through the provision of financial, material, technical and operational assistance’ to carry out last month’s Security Council resolution on the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons material and equipment. In phase three (from 1 November to 30 June 2014), the joint mission will be expected to support, monitor and verify the destruction of a ‘complex chemical weapons programme involving multiple sites.’ In this phase, ‘it is highly probable that assistance by other Member States will be required in the areas of the provision of both technical and operational advice, support and equipment, as well as security and possibly other areas in order to successfully complete the destruction and/or removal activities within the allotted time’, according to the Secretary-General.