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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Notes to correspondents

Statement of Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the Joint OPCW-UN Mission [scroll down for the Arabic version]

Damascus, Syria, 22 October 2013

Statement of Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the Joint OPCW-UN Mission

I am glad to be in Syria following the welcome decision by the UN Security Council and the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, calling for the expeditious destruction of the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic. By joining the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Syrian Government has indicated its commitment to the task.

The timeframes are challenging given the goal of the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons programme in the first half of 2014.

To date, the Government of Syria has fully cooperated in supporting the work of the advance team and the OPCW-UN Joint Mission. Allow me to thank the Government of Syria for its cooperation and to express my gratitude to the Syrian people for their warm welcome.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to all those in the mission, including the OPCW-UN advance team.

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Notes to correspondents on 22 October 2013