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Syria and the Issue of Chemical Weapons: A Snapshot of a Legal Time-Frame: The United Nations Security Council Resolution 2118 (2013) and the opcw Executive Council Decision

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Chapter Summary

The response of the United Nations Security Council and the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the chemical weapons attack in Ghouta in Syria on 21 August 2013, Syria's accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the role of the United Nations in disarmament initially raised a number of issues of international law. This chapter discusses the issues that were at the forefront between 21 August and 15 November 2013. It is irrelevant from an international law perspective. The measures adopted by the Security Council are unequivocally binding for all States and actors concerned and these decisions must be complied with. Before the Executive Council decision, a particularly sensitive discussion was held on the expression 'elimination'. The first draft of the decision contained several references (including in the title) to the elimination of all Syrian chemical weapons.

Keywords: Chemical Weapons Convention; Ghouta; international law; OPCW; Syria; United Nations Security Council



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