New York

28 December 2013

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the OPCW-UN Joint Mission

The Special Coordinator of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission announced today that, due to technical difficulties, there will be a limited delay in the transport of the first tranche of chemical agents from the Syrian Arab Republic. These were anticipated to be removed by 31 December.

The Secretary-General stresses that the international effort to eliminate the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic continues to make effective progress, as demonstrated by the steady achievements in meeting all previous milestones the past three months.

Despite this delay the Joint Mission continues to work closely and intensively with the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the assisting States Parties to begin safe and secure removal and transportation operations as soon as possible.

The Secretary-General commends the Special Coordinator and her team for their steadfast work in challenging circumstances.