Damascus/New York

27 August 2013

Note on the work of the Chemical Weapons Team in Syria

Further to the visit by the Chemical Weapons Team led by Professor Sellstrom to investigate alleged chemical weapons use in the area near Damascus, the Team was to continue their investigation in a different site today.

Following yesterday's attack on the UN convoy, a comprehensive assessment determined that the visit should be postponed by one day in order to improve preparedness and safety for the team.  Considering the complexities of the site, confirmation of access has not been obtained but is expected later today.

The Secretary-General again urges all sides in the conflict to give safe passage and access to the Team.  It is in the interest of all sides to bring factual evidence and clarity to a situation which has brought great suffering to the people of Syria.  The United Nations is there to assist, but it needs the cooperation of all in order to fulfill the mandate given by the Member States.