General Assembly Security Council

UNSC briefing/consultations

Middle East (Syria)-chemical weapons


India Statement by

Mr. R. Ravindra

Deputy Permanent Representative


4 March 2021



Madam President,


I would like to thank Under Secretary General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu for her briefing.


2. We have taken note of the monthly report submitted by DG OPCW on the ‘Progress in the Elimination of the Syrian Chemical Weapons Programme’ which provides information about the activities of the OPCW in implementing Security Council resolution 2118 (2013), as well as the activities of its Fact Finding Mission (FFM), Declaration Assessment Team (DAT) and the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT).


3. We are encouraged to learn that the 24th round of consultations between the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT) and the relevant Syrian authorities took place from 7-25 February 2021. We hope that these consultations will help in addressing the reported gaps and inconsistencies in the declaration. We have also taken note of the extension of the tripartite agreement among the OPCW, Syria and UNOPS. We hope that this six-month extension agreement will be signed soon.


4. India has provided a financial contribution of US$ one million to the OPCW Trust Fund for activities relating to the destruction of chemical stockpiles and related facilities in Syria. We believe that the continued engagement and cooperation between Syria and the OPCW Technical Secretariat is critical for the early resolution of all outstanding issues. India has consistently underlined the need for an impartial and objective investigation into any alleged use of chemical weapons, scrupulously following the provisions and procedures laid down in the Convention. Any concerns or differences should be addressed on the basis of consultations among all concerned parties. In our view, politicization of the issue will result in parties taking extreme positions jeopardizing ongoing efforts towards resolution.


5. Whether it is alleged use of chemical weapons, humanitarian issues or political processes, we need greater efforts for seeking congruence of positions, both within the Council and beyond, to see meaningful tangible progress on the ground in Syria. India is willing to work with other likeminded delegations towards fostering unity in the Council on all issues concerning Syria.


6. As one of the worst sufferers of the scourge of terrorism, India continues to call on the Council to remain cognizant, at all times, of the dangers of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorist groups. We have consistently underlined the need for preventing terrorist groups from taking advantage of the decade long conflict in Syria and entrenching themselves, thereby posing a threat to the entire region. Reports of the resurgence of ISIS in the region are being heard with increasing frequency. The SG’s latest report on the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh) alludes to the incubation of the terrorist threat in displacement camps and detention facilities in the northeast of Syria. Undoubtedly, the role of certain players in the Syrian conflict has re-energized terrorist activities in the region.


7. India has consistently called for a comprehensive and peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict through a Syrian-led dialogue, taking into account the legitimate aspirations of the people of Syria. We have also contributed to the return of normalcy and rebuilding of Syria through humanitarian assistance and human resource development, most recently through the delivery of 2000 MT of rice in February. We have also called on all parties to not link the humanitarian and developmental work with progress on the political track. We stand ready to work with humanitarian relief agencies led by OCHA and UNDP in devising a suitable vaccination relief programme for the country and West Asia as a whole.


8. Let me conclude by reiterating our support for efforts towards attaining lasting durable peace in Syria. I thank you Madam President.