India has told the United Nations (UN) that concerns and allegations over the use of chemical weapons in Syria should be addressed through consultation among all concerned parties, cautioning that “politicisation” of the issue is neither helpful nor productive.
India also told the UN Security Council that terrorist groups have taken advantage of the decade-long conflict in Syria to entrench themselves and pose a threat to the entire region.
“Regarding allegations of use of chemical weapons in Syria and investigations conducted, India has consistently underlined the need for an impartial and objective investigation into any alleged use of chemical weapons, scrupulously following the provisions and procedures laid down in the Convention,” said India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti on Tuesday at the UN Security Council meeting on Syria Chemical Weapons.
“Any concerns should be addressed on the basis of consultation among all concerned parties. In our view, politicisation of the issue is neither helpful nor productive,” said Tirumurti.
Eradicating chemical weapons programme
The UNSC virtual meeting on Syria Chemical Weapons was India’s first open meeting in the Council as the country began its tenure as non-permanent member for the 2021-22 term.
High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu also addressed the meeting. The Council congratulated and welcomed the new incoming members – India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway.
“India remains concerned about the possibility of such weapons falling into the hands of terrorist organisations and individuals. The world cannot afford to give these terrorists any sanctuary or dilute its fight against these terrorist groups,” Tirumurti said.
The 15-nation Security Council considered the latest report on the activities of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in implementing Security Council resolution 2118 (2013) and the relevant provisions of the OPCW Executive Council decisions in relation to the elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons programme.
Through the resolution, the Security Council had called for the full implementation of the decision of the OPCW Executive Council, which contains special procedures for the expeditious and verifiable destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons.
Tirumurti said India has consistently called for a comprehensive and peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict through a Syrian-led dialogue, taking into account the legitimate aspirations of the people of Syria.
He noted that India has also contributed to the return of normalcy and rebuilding of Syria through humanitarian assistance and human resource development.
Tirumurti voiced India’s appreciation for the commitment of the OPCW Technical Secretariat in performing its responsibilities during the challenging times of the pandemic.