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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Notes to correspondents

Press Release from OPCW-UN Joint mission in the Syrian Arab Republic

New York, 23 June 2014

All of Syria’s Chemical Weapons Material Removed
23 June 2014- The Joint Mission welcomes the removal of the remaining 7.2 per cent of chemical weapons material from the Syrian Arab Republic. With this last movement, the total of declared chemical weapons materials destroyed or removed from Syria has reached 100%. The most operationally challenging task within the effort to eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons programme, has come to an end.
In addition to the completion of the removal operation, the Syrian Arab Republic has destroyed all declared production, mixing and filling equipment and munitions, as well as many buildings associated with its declared chemical weapons programme. With the exception of twelve production facilities that are awaiting a decision by the Executive Council of OPCW, all of the declared Syrian chemical weapons programme has been eliminated in an unprecedented timeframe and under uniquely challenging conditions.
The Joint Mission recognizes the constructive cooperation and commitment demonstrated by the Syrian government throughout this complex operation.  The Joint Mission is also grateful for the significant support and professionalism demonstrated by the maritime partners – People’s Republic of China, Denmark, Norway, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States – who have provided critical resources and support to the operations. Moreover, the Joint Mission extends its appreciation to the Republic of Cyprus and the Republic of Lebanon for their facilitation and continuous cooperation.
A new chapter in the elimination process now begins. The Joint Mission thanks the Italian authorities for providing a port for transloading part of the cargo, after which the rest of the materials will be transported onward to the various destruction facilities.
Notwithstanding the progress attained in upholding a global norm on banishing the production and use of chemical weapons, the Joint Mission remains fully mindful of the human tragedy that has befallen the people of Syria. We hope that our contribution will ultimately make a meaningful difference for the Syrian people and the region.