Üzümcü on Syria and CWC

Former OPCW DG Ahmet Üzümcü wrote this piece a couple of months ago about the Syria CW saga. Here’s his take on Syria’s 2013 accession to the CWC:

In retrospect, I think that my initial reservations were correct and it was too much of a leap of faith to jump from the “red line” trigger (U.S. President Obama’s warning that Syrian CW use would be met with consequences) to membership of the OPCW. Let me explain. I believe a progressive approach should have been adopted under which Syria should have been asked to wait until it had gotten rid of all its CW stockpiles and production capacity in a verifiable manner, and then a reasonable and quiet period allowed to elapse without any reported use of CWs. Although the CWC does not provide a basis for such a transitional arrangement, it could have been executed through a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution. But the Director General had little influence in decision-making, for that remains the prerogative of Member States.

The piece also provides some other interesting details concerning the OPCW and Syria’s chemical weapons.

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