FRAMEWORK FOR ELIMINATION OF SYRIAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS

Thanks;Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington,
DC/U.S. Department of State/September 14, 2013 Taking into account
the decision of the Syrian Arab Republic to accede to the Chemical
Weapons Convention and the commitment of the Syrian authorities to
provisionally apply the Convention prior to its entry into force,
the United States and the Russian Federation express their joint
determination to ensure the destruction of the Syrian chemical
weapons program (CW) in the soonest and safest manner. For this
purpose, the United States and the Russian Federation have
committed to prepare and submit in the next few days to the
Executive Council of the OPCW a draft decision setting down special
procedures for expeditious destruction of the Syrian chemical
weapons program and stringent verification thereof. The principles
on which this decision should be based, in the view of both sides,
are set forth in Annex A. The United States and the Russian
Federation believe that these extraordinary procedures are
necessitated by the prior use of these weapons in Syria and the
volatility of the Syrian civil war. The United States and the
Russian Federation commit to work together towards prompt adoption
of a UN Security Council resolution that reinforces the decision of
the OPCW Executive Council. This resolution will also contain steps
to ensure its verification and effective implementation and will
request that the UN Secretary-General, in consultation with the
OPCW, submit recommendations to the UN Security Council on an
expedited basis regarding the UN’s role in eliminating the Syrian
chemical weapons program. The United States and the Russian
Federation concur that this UN Security Council resolution should
provide for review on a regular basis the implementation in Syria
of the decision of the Executive Council of the OPCW, and in the
event of non-compliance, including unauthorized transfer, or any
use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria, the UN Security Council
should impose measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The
proposed joint US-Russian OPCW draft decision supports the
application of Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention,
which provides for the referral of any cases of non-compliance to
the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Security
Council. In furtherance of the objective to eliminate the Syrian
chemical weapons program, the United States and the Russian
Federation have reached a shared assessment of the amount and type
of chemical weapons involved, and are committed to the immediate
international control over chemical weapons and their components in
Syria. The United States and the Russian Federation expect Syria to
submit, within a week, a comprehensive listing, including names,
types, and quantities of its chemical weapons agents, types of
munitions, and location and form of storage, production, and
research and development facilities. We further determined that the
most effective control of these weapons may be achieved by removal
of the largest amounts of weapons feasible, under OPCW supervision,
and their destruction outside of Syria, if possible. We set
ambitious goals for the removal and destruction of all categories
of CW related materials and equipment with the objective of
completing such removal and destruction in the first half of 2014.
In addition to chemical weapons, stocks of chemical weapons agents,
their precursors, specialized CW equipment, and CW munitions
themselves, the elimination process must include the facilities for
the development and production of these weapons. The views of both
sides in this regard are set forth in Annex B. The United States
and the Russian Federation have further decided that to achieve
accountability for their chemical weapons, the Syrians must provide
the OPCW, the UN, and other supporting personnel with the immediate
and unfettered right to inspect any and all sites in Syria. The
extraordinary procedures to be proposed by the United States and
the Russian Federation for adoption by the OPCW Executive Council
and reinforced by a UN Security Council resolution, as described
above, should include a mechanism to ensure this right. Under this
framework, personnel under both the OPCW and UN mandate should be
dispatched as rapidly as possible to support control, removal, and
destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities. The United
States and the Russian Federation believe that the work of the OPCW
and the UN will benefit from participation of the experts of the P5
countries. The United States and the Russian Federation strongly
reiterate their position on Syria as reflected in the Final
Communique of the G-8 Summit in Northern Ireland in June 2013,
especially as regards chemical weapons. The two sides intend to
work closely together, and with the OPCW, the UN, all Syrian
parties, and with other interested member states with relevant
capabilities to arrange for the security of the monitoring and
destruction mission, recognizing the primary responsibility of the
Syrian Government in this regard. The United States and the Russian
Federation note that there are details in furtherance of the
execution of this framework that need to be addressed on an
expedited basis in the coming days and commit to complete these
details, as soon as practicable, understanding that time is of the
essence given the crisis in Syria. Annex A Principles for Decision
Document by OPCW Executive Council 1. The decision should be based
on para 8. Art. IV and para. 10 of Art V of the CWC. 2. The
decision should address the extraordinary character of the
situation with the Syrian chemical weapons. 3. The decision should
take into account the deposit by Syria of the instrument of
accession to the CWC. 4. The decision should provide for the easy
accessibility for States Parties of the information submitted by
Syria. 5. The decision should specify which initial information
Syria shall submit to the OPCW Technical Secretariat in accordance
with a tightly fixed schedule and also specifies an early date for
submission of the formal CWC declaration. 6. The decision should
oblige Syria to cooperate fully on all aspects of its
implementation. 7. The decision should address a schedule for the
rapid destruction of Syrian chemical weapons capabilities. This
schedule should take into account the following target dates: A.
Completion of initial OPCW on-site inspections of declared sites by
November. B. Destruction of production and mixing/filling equipment
by November. C. Complete elimination of all chemical weapons
material and equipment in the first half of 2014. The shortest
possible final deadline, as well as intermediate deadlines, for the
destruction of Syrian chemical weapons capabilities should be
included into the schedule. 8. The decision should provide
stringent special verification measures, beginning within a few
days, including a mechanism to ensure the immediate and unfettered
right to inspect any and all sites. 9. The decision should address
the issue of duties of the OPCW Technical Secretariat in this
situation and its need for supplementary resources to implement the
decision, particularly technical and personnel resources, and call
upon states with relevant capacities to contribute to this end. 10.
The decision should refer to the provisions of the CWC obliging the
Executive Council, in cases of non-compliance with the Convention,
to bring the issues directly to the attention of the UN General
Assembly and the UN Security Council. Annex B Joint Framework on
Destruction of Syrian CW The Russian Federation and the United
States of America agree on the need to achieve rapid elimination of
Syria’s chemical weapons, thus reducing the threat posed to the
people of Syria. They are each prepared to devote high-level
attention and resources to support the monitoring and destruction
mission of the OPCW, both directly and in cooperation with the
United Nations and other States concerned. They agree to set an
ambitious goal of eliminating the threat in a rapid and effective
manner. Both parties agree that a clear picture of the state of
Syrian chemical weapons could help advance a cooperative
development of destruction options, including possible removal of
chemical weapons outside of the Syrian territory. We agree on the
importance of rapid destruction of the following categories: 1.
Production equipment 2. Mixing and filling equipment 3. Filled and
unfilled weapons and delivery systems 4. Chemical agents
(unweaponized) and precursor chemicals. For these materials, they
will pursue a hybrid approach, i.e., a combination of removal from
Syria and destruction within Syria, depending upon site-specific
conditions. They will also consider the possibility of
consolidation and destruction in the coastal area of Syria. 5.
Material and equipment related to the research and development of
chemical weapons The two parties agree to utilize the “universal
matrix”, developed in the course of consultations by our two
National Security Councils, as the basis for an actionable plan.
They agree that the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria should
be considered an urgent matter to be implemented within the
shortest possible time period. The parties agree to set the
following target dates: A. Completion of initial OPCW on-site
inspections by November. B. Destruction of production and
mixing/filling equipment by November. C. Complete elimination of
all chemical weapons material and equipment in the first half of
2014. The Russian Federation and the United States will work
together closely, including with the OPCW, the UN and Syrian
parties to arrange for the security of the monitoring and
destruction mission, noting the primary responsibility of the
Syrian government in this regard.

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