The State Department is at the forefront of United States Government involvement with international efforts to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons (CW) program, which includes manufacturing equipment and significant quantities of bulk materials. Efforts to begin dismantlement and destruction are underway. For the purposes of eliminating the Syrian chemical weapons program in the soonest and safest manner, United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) UNSCR 2118 authorizes UN Member States to acquire, control, transport, transfer, and destroy Syrian chemical weapons consistent with the objective of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The international community has been able to rapidly begin UNSCR 2118 implementation efforts thanks in part to the Department’s Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund (NDF), through which the U.S. has contributed both in-kind and financial assistance to the United Nations (UN) and to the Organization for the Prohibition for Chemical Weapons (OPCW). As international efforts to assist in the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons continue, the Department of State stands ready to provide additional support to the extent available and will encourage and work with other countries to do so also.
Diplomacy: From the creation of the initial Framework in Geneva to the adoption of UNSCR 2118 and the OPCW Executive Council’s decision, the Department of State, the United States Mission to the UN, and the U.S. Mission to the OPCW have led and supported international engagement, including continued diplomacy with Russia, to ensure the elimination of Syria’s CW program. The Department of State, working closely with the Department of Defense, has also played a vital role in identifying countries outside of Syria who might host destruction activities or otherwise contribute to efforts to eliminate Syria’s CW stockpile.
Assistance: The Department of State, via NDF, is in the process of providing nearly $6 million in in-kind and direct financial assistance to support these efforts. This includes an initial $2 million contribution to the OPCW Trust Fund, along with approximately $300,000 in equipment to the OPCW, such as protective gear and medication to counteract CW exposure, thus enhancing the safety of international inspectors deployed to Syria. We also provided a similar grant of $2 million to the UN’s Trust Fund for the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons and have also provided 10 armored vehicles to the UN, to support OPCW/UN Joint Mission efforts to verify and implement the elimination of Syria’s CW program.