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861 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     853 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



Draft OPCW decision on Syria chemical incident that Russia proposed and UK opposed


Executive Council



13 and 19 April 2017

19 April 2017


Original: ENGLISH






The Executive Council,

Noting with grave concern reports regarding the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Khan Shaykhun area of Southern Idlib in the Syrian Arab Republic on 4 April 2017;

Underlining that the use of any chemical weapons and toxic chemicals as a weapon anywhere by anyone and under any circumstances is reprehensible and completely contrary to the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (hereinafter “the Convention”) and all norms of international law and affirming that those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable;

Recognising the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and its readiness to continue the cooperation with the OPCW;

Welcoming the request of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic for assistance in ensuring immediate and impartial investigation in the Khan Shaykhun area of Southern Idlib and the Shayrat airbase, as well as its readiness to ensure free and safe access to the Shayrat airbase, as contained in the letter to theDirector-General of the OPCW Technical Secretariat (hereinafter “the Secretariat”) dated 11 April 2017;

Recognising also the readiness of the Syrian Government to provide and guarantee unhindered access to the Shayrat airbase for the purpose of implementation of this decision; and

Stressing the determination of the States Parties to the Convention “for the sake of all mankind, to exclude completely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons”, through the implementation of the provisions of the Convention;


1.Requests the Director-General to send, as soon as possible, a team of the OPCWFact-Finding Mission (FFM) to Syria in order to undertake afull-scale and thorough investigation in the Khan Shaykhun area and at the Shayrat airbase in full accordance with Part XI of the Annex on Implementation and Verification Convention, as well as the terms of reference of theabove-mentionedFFM as contained in the Annex to the Note by the Secretariat S/1255/2015 (10 March 2015), including its paragraph 8 on the assignment of an OPCW team and other provisions on investigation modalities;

2.Decides that the purpose of the investigation will be to establish whether chemical weapons were used in Khan Shaykhun and how they were delivered to the site of the reported incident, as well as to verify allegations concerning the storage of chemical weapons at the Shayrat airbase;

3.Welcomes the possible participation in the investigation by representatives of theOPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), taking into account, inter alia, operative paragraph 7 of United Nations Security Council resolution 2235 (2015), as well as national experts of interested States Parties, and to this end:

(a)Requests the Director General to liaise with the JIM in this regard; and

(b)Recommends that the interested States Parties express to theDirector-General their readiness to provide national experts for participation in the investigation;

4.Also requests theDirector-General to undertake without delay consultations with the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, the relevant Syrian opposition sides, and all others who may be helpful in this regard, with a view to ensuring quick and safe access of the FFM to Khan Shaykhun and the Shayrat airbase and, in view of particular urgency of the matter, to report to the Council on the results of the consultations in five days from the adoption of this decision;

5.Encourages all Member States to bring information, evidence, and documents relevant to the Khan Shaykhun incident to the attention of the Secretariat that could help the investigation of this case; and

6.Decides also that theDirector-General shall report to the Council on the results of the investigation not later than 30 days after adoption of this decision.

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