Delivered on: 6 March 2023
Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered:
»Statement by Alice Jacobs, UK Deputy Political Coordinator at the Security Council briefing on Syria«
I thank USG Nakamitsu for her excellent briefing, as ever.
As we discussed last month, the Douma report is further confirmation of Syria’s disdain for its basic obligations under international law.
We again commend the Investigation and Identification Teams’ integrity, impartiality and professionalism in reaching its conclusions through rigorous scientific methodology.
The Douma report has also further exposed Syria and Russia’s repeated attempts to discredit and undermine the OPCW to protect the Assad regime from accountability. Their reprehensible scapegoating of the White Helmets is aimed at deflecting attention. The White Helmets’ life-saving work has been demonstrated time and again, including during the recent earthquake response.
President, it is also worth noting that today marks five years since two Russian GRU agents carried out a chemical weapons attack in the UK killing a British citizen and injuring others. It is, therefore, perhaps not just the Assad regime that it is attempting to protect.
President, Douma represents the ninth attributed instance of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime. Given this consistent pattern of behaviour and without progress on any of Syria’s outstanding declaration issues, we cannot exclude the possibility that the Assad regime might use chemical weapons again.
As we have said many times, the outstanding issues on Syria’s declaration are neither academic nor historic. While Syria continues to fail to comply with its obligations under the CWC, its chemical weapons programme presents an ongoing threat to international peace and security. It is therefore incumbent on this Council to continue to discuss the matter and to continue to bring pressure on Syria to cooperate with the OPCW.