New York

12 February 2016

Note to correspondents – in response to questions on the report of the Joint Investigative Mechanism

The Secretary-General has submitted the first report of the OPCW – UN Joint Investigative Mechanism to the Security Council today, pursuant to resolution 2235 (2015). The report provides an overview of the work of the Joint Investigative Mechanism to date, the sources of information available to the Mechanism and the methodology behind their investigation. The Secretary-General appreciates the professional, independent, objective and impartial work that is being carried out. The Security Council is expected to consider the report on 22 February.

The Mechanism reviewed the incidents where the OPCW Fact-Finding Missions determined that chemicals were used or likely used as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, and identified potential cases for further investigation.

The next phase of the work of the Mechanism will include:
• the detailed analysis of all information obtained, including from Member States and other sources;
• the finalization of the list of cases for investigation on the basis of all information obtained;
• the conduct of the investigation, including field visits as necessary, in order to identify the individuals, entities, groups or governments who were perpetrators, organizers, sponsors or otherwise involved in the use of chemicals as weapons. 

This stage will continue until sufficient information and evidence is gathered to allow the Mechanism to report its findings to the Security Council.

The Secretary-General expresses his appreciation to the leadership panel and the staff of the Joint Investigative Mechanism, as well as the OPCW and the Office for Disarmament Affairs for their continued support to the Mechanism, as well as to Member States for their assistance to the Mechanism and financial support to its Trust Fund.

Full cooperation from the Syrian Government and all parties in Syria remains essential in the discharge of the Mechanism’s mandate.