Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari reaffirmed Syria’s support to the international orientation towards building an international community free of the use or threats of force, reiterating Syria’s readiness to participate in any sincere effort that seeks the achievement of these goals.
Al-Jaafari was addressing the First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in New York.
He said that Syria supports a world underpinned by the UN Charter’s goals and principles that are based on justice, equality and peace among nations.
Al-Jaafari blamed the terrorist acts in Syria on “well-known” Arab, regional, and world states which are providing support to terrorist organizations.
“Syria condemns in the strongest terms the use of chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction, and considers it an abhorrent crime and an impermissible, reprehensible and unethical act,” he added.
He underlined Syria’s commitment to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), indicating that its cooperation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has “made its work succeed spectacularly” despite all the difficult and extreme circumstances.
Al-Jaafari called for not politicizing the OPCW report on allegations concerning the use of chlorine in Hama province “for the organization’s credibility to remain unharmed.”
He said Syria’s cooperation with the UN and the OPCW was the reason behind the unprecedented achievement in the history of the OPCW, adding that a number of UN officials, including the Special Coordinator for the OPCW-UN Joint Mission Sigrid Kaag, have expressed their relief and gratitude over Syria’s constructive cooperation with the mission.
“Our world is facing many challenges, on top of which is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and especially nuclear weapons,” al-Jaafari said, pointing out that after more than four decades since the signature of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the nuclear countries should abide by the 6th article concerning the disarmament of nuclear weapons, and the issue of excluding Israel from the nuclear disarmament should be addressed.
He went on to say that Syria stresses the right of all NPT member-states to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes in accordance with the 4th article of the NPT, and that at the same time, Syria opposes any attempt to interpret the treaty in a way that could undermine this right or restrain its usage.
Al-Jaafari underlined that the disarmament conference is the only multi-lateral negotiating gathering to discuss the issue of disarmament, highlighting the importance of respecting the regulations of the conference and its measures, which constitute the basis to make any effort a success.
Al-Jaafari said that the current reality in our world regarding the illicit trafficking of small and light arms reveals that some countries, including some that manufacture weapons and some that don’t, are involved in delivering such weapons to terrorist organizations and sides that do not represent states with the aim of intensifying crises and undermining the stability of specific countries.
He said that the terrorist acts committed by extremist terrorist organizations wouldn’t have happened without the support which includes arming, funding, training, and harboring which they receive from Arab, regional, and world countries that have become notorious for their involvement in terrorism in Syria.
“One of our main concerns regarding the Arms Trade Treaty was objection to not including any clear text in the treaty that utterly prohibits supplying weapons to non-state elements and armed terrorist organizations. Facts which we are witnessing today in Syria and in a number of countries in the region and outside it prove the veracity of our concerns regarding the aforementioned treaty,” al-Jaafari said, noting that the delivery of weapons to terrorist organizations which some like to describe as “active non-state elements” has undermined regional stability and security, with one example being what happened recently in the non-engagement zone in the occupied Syrian Golan.
Syria’s Representative said that the second report issued by the OPCW fact-finding mission sent to investigate the allegations regarding the usage of chlorine in Syria – the usage which the Syrian government has strongly condemned – is still being discussed by the OPCW’s executive council, adding that this report has a number of structural issues and is in itself technical, which is why only the OPCW should address it.
“Despite that, a small number of governments used this report to slander Syria, which is out of place and doesn’t serve the credibility of the OPCW. We hope that it will not be politicized which would influence the OPCW’s credibility, similar to what happened before when the NPT’s credibility was affected,” he added.
Al-Jaafari said that some countries continue to protect the barbaric and inhumane practices of ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and other terrorist organizations, and they continue to arm these organizations with assorted weapons including chemical weapons which these organizations have used against the Syrian people and the Syrian Arab Army more than once.
“We still witness an insistence by the countries that support terrorist in Syria to level null and baseless accusations to the Syrian government while overlooking the numerous reports that indicate their own involvement, specifically the regimes of Turkey and Saudi Arabia which are directly involved in providing these terrorist organizations with chemical weapons,” he said.
Al-Jaafari said that the Syrian government demands that all countries who arm terrorist organizations in Syria be held accountable as per the relevant international resolutions, pointing out that the Turkish government is responsible for forming 106 of the terrorist organizations that are active in Syria, in addition to forming the so-called “Syrian Free Army” on Turkish territories where it was armed and trained then set loose inside Syria.
“The Turkish government, as per the rules of good neighborly relations between countries and the historic relations between the Turkish and Syrian people, should have lent a helping hand to Syria to overcome the crisis, but instead this Turkish government, which draws inspiration from the same extremist religious ideology as armed terrorist groups, became one of the main support bases for these terrorist organizations. What is currently happening in the border area of Ein Arab proves the involvement of the Turkish government in the massacres committed by ISIS against Syrian citizens in that area.”
Al-Jaafari reiterated Syria’s calls for working to clear the Middle East of all weapons of mass destruction, recalling that Syria was the one who proposed this issue in 2003 when it was a member of the Security Council.
He asserted that clearing the region of WMDs isn’t possible unless Israel – which is the only nuclear power in the region – joins all the treaties prohibiting these weapons and subjects its nuclear facility to the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Syria’s Representative said that the fact that some countries, including Security Council members, have been providing advanced nuclear technology to Israel for decades and exempting it from any accountability in this regard contradicts these countries’ obligations as per the NPT, because these actions allowed Israel to manufacture nuclear weapons and deployment methods, which puts the Middle East and areas beyond it in danger.
Al-Jaafari said that most of the world were hoping to hold a conference on making the Middle East clear of nuclear weapons and all sorts of WMDs in Helsinki in 2012 and for it to be a success, but the conference was thwarted when Israel announced in September of 2012 that it won’t take part in it, derailing all international efforts for revising the NPT, adding that some sides gave the impression that the aforementioned conference should have been tailored to Israel’s interests rather than coercing it to join the conference and make the Middle East free of WMDs.
He concluded by calling on member countries to assume responsibility and stop the smuggling of weapons of all classifications – be they lethal or non-lethal – and halting the smuggling of gunmen and terrorist from neighboring countries to Syria, warning that the threat of terrorism will eventually backfire on those countries sooner or later, referring to the terrorism currently affecting Turkey.