Canada welcomes OPCW actions to counter impunity for use of chemical weapons

Statement

June 27, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“Any use of chemical weapons is an abhorrent breach of international law and Canada strongly supports efforts to ensure that perpetrators of such crimes are held to account.

“Canada welcomes today’s decision by the special Conference of States Parties of the Chemical Weapons Convention to task the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Technical Secretariat with identifying those who use chemical weapons in Syria.

“These findings will be reported to the United Nations Secretary General and will ensure that the perpetrators of attacks using chemical weapons in Syria will not be able to hide behind anonymity. The decision also authorizes the OPCW Director-General to help attribute responsibility for chemical attacks on the territory of member states.

“The Conference of States Parties recognized the results of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism’s last report, which attributed the use of the sarin nerve agent in Khan Shaykhun to Syrian government forces. This is an important step towards holding the Assad regime accountable for its horrific attacks against the people of Syria.

“This follows the disappointing actions by Russia to block the renewal of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism and to shield the murderous Assad regime from accountability for its actions. Canada will continue to support the international rules-based order in the face of these actions.

“Canada has consistently demonstrated its support for the OPCW, not only with words but with concrete actions. I am pleased to announce today a contribution of $7.5 million over three years to help build the OPCW’s new Centre for Chemistry and Technology.”

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Contacts

Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Adam.Austen@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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