Transcript: Syria denies chemical weapons attacks, defends presidency of UN disarmament forum

Debate in UN Conference on Disarmament
May 22, 2018

Full 1-hour audio recording

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Highlights related to Syria’s upcoming presidency of the Conference on Disarmament. See UN Watch’s press release here.
Syria: I hope that the Syrian presidency will be able to contribute and to bring success to the concerted efforts of the six presidencies this year… Madam President, achieving the objectives of the Convention on Chemical Weapons, which seeks to establish a universal effective regime against chemical weapons, cannot be done through attempts to exploit the convention and instrumentalize it for false objectives.
Certain members are exhibiting selectivity and double standards in their approach to the international system to combat chemical weapons without taking into account the real dangers threatening the world. Socrates once said that when there is a lack of debate, defamation is what comes to the fore.
Thus, it is important to uphold true dialogue in order to pursue the objective of the Conference on Disarmament and its mandate. We must stop attempts to use the Conference to manipulate the facts in order to hide the failures of some.
USA: No matter what the regime’s representatives s say here in this or another forum, we all know the truth. Because of the repeated use of these horrific weapons by this regime, Syria has neither the legitimacy nor moral authority to serve as president of this august body.  
France: I find it an act of particular cynicism that this platform, a quasi-presidential platform, given that Syria is speaking from the Presidential platform, be used to make statements of this nature and particular to accuse my own country of various facts.
UK: As my American and French colleagues have just said, they do not have the moral authority or political authority to be making such statements from the presidential podium.
Syria: I reiterate that Syria is aware of its responsibilities and its commitments as we approach our presidency of this body that we’re a member of. We do not make use of this platform to serve a political agenda. We expect other member states of this conference to equally respect the mandate of this forum and to abide by its agenda and to abstain from introducing politicized issues into the discussion that take place in this body.
USA:  I call on Russia to end its blind support for the regime in Damascus and for Russia to call on that regime to stand down from assuming the CD presidency. Syria’s presidency will undermine this body and demean this institution, and this is something that should not happen.
SyriaThe attempts to try to manipulate the issue of the presidency of the conference on disarmament is something that we refute. That would be to open Pandora’s box. What I can say to the U.S. Ambassador is this: It is stated that he who has committed no sins should throw the first stone, and we remind you of that axiom for the future.
The conference will be politicized not by any Syrian presidency but by mechanisms that have been adopted elsewhere over many years which undermine the conference and its role. It is not the Syrian presidency that could harm this conference, but those who take the floor to justify aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law.
President (Switzerland): The next plenary meeting of the conference will be held on the 28th of May, next Tuesday, at 10AM under the presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic…

UN Watch

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