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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Russian draft calls on JIM to "reevaluate earlier assessments, conclusions"

The Security Council,
Recalling its resolutions 2319 (2016), 2314 (2016), 2253 (2015), 2235 (2015), 2209 (2015), 2178 (2014), 2118 (2013), 1989 (2011), 1540 (2004) and 1267(1999),
Condemning in the strongest terms any use of chemical weapons and toxic chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic and expressing grave concern that civilians continue to be killed and injured by chemical weapons and toxic chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic,
Reaffirming that the use of chemical weapons constitutes a serious violation of international law and reiterating that those individuals, entities, groups or governments responsible for any use of chemical weapons must be held accountable,
Recalling the decision of the OPCW Executive Council EC-86/DEC.9 dated 13 October 2017, which encouraged States Parties to share, according to their national laws and as appropriate, information related to cases of developing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling, retaining, transferring, or using chemical weapons by non-state actors, as well as domestic investigations conducted with regard to chemical weapons, including information on any subsequent criminal or other legal proceedings undertaken,
Welcoming full and profound cooperation extended by the government of the Syrian Arab Republic to the FFM and JIM in establishing facts related to the incidents with chemical weapons in Um-Housh and Khan Shaykhun,
Noting that the government of the Syrian Arab Republic called upon the FFM and JIM to conduct the investigation at the scene in Khan Shaykhun and granted access to its Shayrat airbase, thus enabling the JIM and OPCW experts to verify its premises by taking environmental samples for the presence of traces of sarin as it was allegedly delivered from there and used in Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017, interviewing in this regard the airbase staff, examining logbooks and aircraft stationed there,
Expressing its regret that the FFM and JIM failed to visit Khan Shaykhun and to collect environmental samples at Shayrat airbase although the necessary security and technical conditions, as the Council learnt, were in place,
Expressing also its regret that the samples the FFM relied on in the course of investigation lacked full chain of custody envisaged in the working instruction of the OPCW Technical Secretariat "Chain of Custody and Documentation for OPCW Samples On-site",
Recalling that resolution 2319 encouraged the JIM to consult appropriate United Nations counter-terrorism and non-proliferation bodies, in particular the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 and 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, in order to exchange information on non-state actors' perpetration, organization, sponsorship, or other involvement in the use of chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic,
Recalling that resolution 2319 reaffirmed the JIM's ability to examine additional information and evidence that was not obtained or prepared by the FFM but was related to the mandate of the JIM,
Recalling further that the United Nations Secretary-General in his letter to the President of the Security Council on 27 August 2015 committed to undertake the recruitment of impartial and experienced staff of the JIM to provide the relevant requisite skill sets on the basis of professional expertise and experience, with due regard to the importance of recruiting staff on as wide geographical basis as possible, which fully applies to the FFM, as provided in its terms of reference and the CWC,
Noting that the FFM continues to examine other allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria, unfortunately once again in a remote mode, which does not allow to ensure the necessary quality of the investigation,
Expressing further alarm that chemical weapons have been used in Syria by non-state actors and that the so-called Islamic State (also known as ISIL or Da'esh), the Al Nusrah Front and other non-state actors used or have shown obvious intent to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer, or use chemical weapons,
Reaffirming that no party in the Syrian Arab Republic should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer chemical weapons,
Having considered the seventh and the previous reports of the JIM,
Proceeding from the understanding that in view of the experience gained, there is the need for further improvements and update of the JIM's mandate as it was envisaged in paragraph 1 of resolution 2319,
1. Decides to renew the mandate of the JIM, as set out in resolution 2319 and in this resolution, until 16 May 2018 with a possibility of further extension and update by the Security Council if it deems necessary;
2. Reaffirms paragraphs 1-4, 6-9, and 12 of resolution 2235 as amended, where appropriate, by this resolution;
3. Requests the JIM to dispatch as soon as possible an investigative team to the site of the incident in Khan Shaykhun to conduct full-scale investigation using the whole spectrum of relevant methods;
4. Urges all parties in Syria and Member States with relevant capabilities to facilitate without any further delay free and safe access for JIM's experts to the site of the incident in Khan Shaykhun and adjacent areas;
5. Requests the JIM to dispatch immediately another investigative team to Shayrat airbase in the Syrian Arab Republic to collect environmental samples in order to verify the allegations that sarin used in Khan Shaykhun had been stored at the airbase;
6. Requests the JIM in the light of paragraph 8 of its seventh report to reevaluate its earlier assessments and conclusions, paying special attention to the incident with chemical weapons in the town of Sarmin since the JIM itself described as "improbable" the eventuality in which a chlorine-filled barrel bomb, dropped from a helicopter, could have impacted through the ventilation shaft with a matching dimension;
7. Decides that the JIM in conducting its investigations must be guided by high standards established by the CWC and, accordingly, use the whole spectrum of relevant methods envisaged in the above-mentioned Convention and in particular Part XI of its Annex on implementation and verification, which includes investigation, sampling, interviewing witnesses and collection of evidence and information on the site of an incident;
8. Requests the JIM in addition to provisions of paragraph 7 above to make use of the recommendations contained in its fourth and fifth reports (paragraph 49 and paragraph 11 respectively) in order to ensure full scale, professional and high quality investigations;
9. Directs the JIM in the course of its investigations to make full use of evidence collected by the FFM in accordance with the CWC high standards, as referred to in paragraph 7 above;
10. Requests the JIM to retain its findings and the findings of the FFM, not based on the results of on-site investigation, as well as remotely collected evidence and information until such time, when full-scale and high quality investigation on the site of an incident becomes possible;
11. Decides that any JIM's investigation shall indispensably involve collection and analysis of additional information and evidence that was not obtained or prepared by the FFM but was related to the mandate of the JIM, including all information provided by the Syrian Arab Republic as well as others pertaining to activities of non-state actors with regard to using, developing, producing, acquiring, stockpiling, retaining or transferring chemical weapons;
12. Calls on the JIM and FFM to engage into the closest cooperation on all the identified cases of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic in order for the investigation to be as full and comprehensive as possible, with the involvement of all the necessary procedures and methods;
13. Reiterates its support expressed in paragraph 5 of resolution 2209 for the OPCW Executive Council decision of 4 February 2015 to entrust the OPCW FFM with the task "to study all available information relating to allegations of use of chemical weapons in Syria" and underlines that paragraph 5 or other provisions of its resolution 2235 do not affect this tasking and do not limit it to determination that a specific incident in Syria involved or likely involved the use of chemical weapons only;
14. Urges the FFM to timely inform the JIM through the Director General of the OPCW Technical Secretariat, in accordance with the JIM's mandate as the OPCW-UN joint instrument, on the inability to organize an on-site inspection within the process of investigating a chemical incident in order to make the UN Security Council be aware of the problem;
15. Requests the Director General of the OPCW Technical Secretariat to urgently provide the JIM, in the case of a necessity, with technical experts possessing protective gear and special equipment, who would be able to work on the site of an incident as a part of the JIM's team, to collect samples as well as process them in accordance with the standard OPCW procedures of collecting and analyzing authentic samples including, where applicable, their express analysis;
16. Encourages the JIM to consult and cooperate with appropriate United Nations counterterrorism and non-proliferation bodies, in particular the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 and 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, in order to exchange information on non-state actors' perpetration, organization, sponsorship, or other involvement in the use of chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic;
17. Invites the UN Secretary-General to ensure recruiting personnel for the JIM in accordance with paragraph 6 of resolution 2235 on as wide geographical basis as possible and recommends the Director General of the OPCW Technical Secretariat to review the composition of the FFM in the light of paragraph 8 of its terms of reference;
18. Calls on all other states to cooperate fully with the JIM and in particular to provide it and the FFM with any relevant information they may possess pertaining to individuals, entities, groups, or governments who were perpetrators, organizers, sponsors or otherwise involved in use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic;
19. Requests the UN Secretary-General, in coordination with the Director General of the OPCW Technical Secretariat, to submit to the Security Council, for its authorization, within 20 days of the adoption of this resolution, recommendations on possible additional measures, if necessary, on strengthening the JIM in the light of this resolution, and expresses its intent to respond to the recommendations within five days of their receipt;
20Requests the JIM to submit to the Council and the OPCW Executive Council by 1 February 2018 and 1 May 2018 the reports on the results of its investigations conducted in full accordance with paragraphs 7 and 8 above;
21. Requests the JIM to collect and analyze information on trends in the activities of non-state actors involving preparations for use and actual use of chemical weapons and submit to the Council relevant analytical reports in the middle and at the end of its new term;
22. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

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1 comment:

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