7 February 202018:28

Comment by the Information and Press Department on a briefing in the OPCW on revealing confidential information during the drafting of a report by its Fact-Finding Mission on the alleged use of chlorine in the Syrian city of Douma on April 7, 2018


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On February 6, Director-General of the Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Mr Fernando Arias Gonzalez, shared the findings of the investigation into possible breaches of confidentiality during the drafting of a report by its Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) on the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian city of Douma on April 7, 2018.

Two unnamed OPCW inspectors from the OPCW Technical Secretariat were charged with a list of violations: disclosing classified information, failing to abide by the OPCW Policy on Confidentiality and neglecting the Code of Conduct for Staff Members of the Secretariat.

Mr Arias hired outside professionals for the investigation to make it truly “independent” and “transparent.” In reality, it did not clear up the incident, which was unflattering for the Secretariat. The names of the investigators remained confidential as well.

The investigation failed to answer the main question: did the inspectors at fault present true facts showing that the issued report was politically biased and designed to confirm the version of the chemical attack by government forces with a view to justifying the missile attack on Syria carried out by the US, Britain and France on April 14, 2018 without any investigation and in violation of the UN Charter and universally recognised norms of international law.

“A high degree of confidence” in the conclusions of the FFM final report on Douma of March 1, 2019 was expressed at the briefing. The countries that took part in the investigation were warmly thanked. Judging by what we have seen, this primarily applied to the United States that influenced OPCW staff and sent a special delegation of “experts” to OPCW headquarters in The Hague. They “persuaded” the Technical Secretariat to ignore numerous facts proving that the chemical incident in Douma was staged by the White Helmets. In the process, the top staff of the Technical Secretariat dodged any discussion and ignored numerous questions from the OPCW member state delegations.

The results of the Secretariat-organised meeting create the strong impression that the already irregular situation at the OPCW is continuing to degrade fast. This suggests a logical conclusion: the briefing was designed to sidetrack attention from the gist of the problem, notably, egregious manipulation and abuse in the OPCW, which are not duly denounced because of the position of the Western countries in The Hague where they are replacing international law with certain “rules” that they created. This is done for one purpose only: to finally turn the OPCW, once a prestigious and strictly specialised technical international organisation, into a tool for implementing the geopolitical goals of the US and its Euro-Atlantic allies.

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