New York

25 August 2013

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria

On 24 and 25 August, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms. Angela Kane met with senior officials of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic. The purpose of her visit was to seek cooperation of the Government in facilitating an expeditious investigation of the incident in the Ghouta area on 21 August involving the alleged use of chemical weapons.

The Secretary-General has instructed the Mission under Dr. Sellström, currently in Damascus, to focus its attention on ascertaining the facts of the 21 August incident as its highest priority. The Mission is preparing to conduct on-site fact-finding activities, starting tomorrow, Monday, 26 August.

The Secretary-General notes the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic affirmed that it will provide the necessary cooperation, including the observance of the cessation of hostilities at the locations related to the incident.

The Secretary-General remains grateful for the cooperation and dedication of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon and the World Health Organization, as well as for the commitment of their staff assigned to the Mission.

The Secretary-General would like to reiterate that all relevant parties equally share the responsibility of cooperating in urgently generating a safe environment for the Mission to do its job efficiently and providing all necessary information.