Letter dated 24 August 2016 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council - Third report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (S/2016/738) [EN/AR]

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I have the honour to convey herewith the third report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism.

I should be grateful if the present letter and the report could be brought to the attention of the members of the Security Council.

(Signed) BAN Ki-moon

Letter dated 24 August 2016 from the Leadership Panel of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism addressed to the Secretary-General

The Leadership Panel of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism has the honour to transmit the Mechanism’s third report pursuant to Security Council resolution 2235 (2015).

The report provides an update on the activities of the Mechanism up to 19 August 2016. It also outlines the concluding assessments of the Leadership Panel to date, on the basis of the results of the investigation into the nine selected cases of the use of chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Leadership Panel wishes to thank the Secretary-General for the confidence placed in it. The Panel appreciates the indispensable support provided by the Secretariat, including the Office for Disarmament Affairs, the Department for Political Affairs and the Office of Legal Affairs, and the United Nations officials who have assisted the Mechanism in New York, Geneva and Damascus. The Panel likewise appreciates the invaluable support provided by the leadership and staff of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The Panel wishes to recognize the outstanding staff of the Mechanism, who have tirelessly and professionally conducted and supported the investigation.

The Leadership Panel is grateful to the members of the Security Council for their support for the Mechanism. The Panel also thanks them and the other States Members of the United Nations for providing essential information and financial resources to the Mechanism during its investigation. The Panel equally recognizes all other organizations, entities and individuals that have assisted the work of the Mechanism.

The Leadership Panel wishes to emphasize that it has conducted its work objectively, independently, professionally and in accordance with the mandate given in Security Council resolution 2235 (2015). The Panel is solely accountable and responsible for its conclusions.

(Signed) Virginia Gamba
Head
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism

(Signed) Adrian Neritani
Leadership Panel

(Signed) Eberhard Schanze
Leadership Panel

Third report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism

I. Introduction

  1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2235 (2015), by which the Council established the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism with a mandate to identify to the greatest extent feasible individuals, entities, groups or Governments who were perpetrators, organizers, sponsors or otherwise involved in the use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, in the Syrian Arab Republic where the OPCW fact-finding mission determined or had determined that a specific incident in the Syrian Arab Republic had involved or had likely involved the use of chemicals as weapons.

  2. Two previous reports of the Mechanism (S/2016/142 and S/2016/530) provided information on its methodological approaches and its investigative activities from 24 September 2015, when the mandate began, to 10 June 2016. In addition, the Mechanism has briefed the Security Council on its progress on a monthly basis.