Central African Republic
Joint statement on the first report by the investigation and identification team, July 7, 2020
This joint statement is issued on behalf of Belarus, Burundi, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cuba, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Lao People’s Republic, Myanmar, Nicaragua, the Russian Federation, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), and Zimbabwe.
We, the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (hereinafter "the Convention"), as members of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), express deep concern over the situation in the OPCW after the release of the first Report by the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) on the alleged incidents in Ltamenah, the Syrian Arab Republic, on 24, 25 and 30 March 2017.
The establishment of the IIT and its way of conducting work is not in accordance with the provisions of the Convention. The IIT interferes into the exclusive authority of the United Nations Security Council.
The conclusions made by the IIT are arguable, as the demands of a number of States to clarify the high-profile case of the alleged tampering with the report by the Fact-Finding Mission on the chemical incident in Douma in April 2018 have been unfortunately ignored. Some countries took advantage of this in order to commit an unprovoked aggression against the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic.
We believe that it can cause further split in the OPCW and the unnecessary politicization of its work.
We proceed from the assumption that the normalization of the work of the Organization, that once earned the Nobel Peace Prize, depends on the resumption of a mutually respectful dialogue among Member States under strict compliance with the Convention, as well as the respect for international law as a whole, which should not be substituted for the sake of a group of States-Parties for some rules they invented themselves.