OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, has announced that the European Union has contributed an additional €2.3 million to support the Organisation’s verification and fact-finding work in Syria.
On 30 November 2015 the Council of the European Union adopted Decision 2015/2215/CFSP in support of UN Security Council Resolution 2235(2015) in the framework of the EU's Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. That resolution established a Joint Investigative Mechanism to identify, to the greatest extent feasible, individuals, entities, groups or governments who were perpetrators, organisers, sponsors or otherwise involved in the use of chemicals, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic.
The decision provides for a funding of 4.6 million euros to OPCW special missions in the Syrian Arab Republic, including activities related to the OPCW Fact Finding Mission and the Joint Investigative Mechanism. The amount will be divided between the two bodies to support their respective mandates. The Head of the Joint Investigative Mechanism, Virginia Gamba, welcomed the generous donation to the Mechanism's Voluntary Trust Fund, covering material and technical needs.
Expressing his appreciation for the consistent and significant support extended by the EU for OPCW’s work, the Director-General said that, “This important contribution will enable the Organisation to continue to effectively carry out crucial mandated activities”.
Thus, Council Decision 2015/2215/CFSP complements the commitment of the EU and its Member States to the complete elimination of Syria's chemical weapons programme, including destruction of Syria's declared chemical weapons stockpile (to which the Union has already contributed 17 million euros), in compliance with Syria's obligations as State Party to the CWC.