With ISIL remaining active in Syria and seeking to rebuild its combat capabilities, India has stressed that allegations of the use of chemical weapons need to be dealt with utmost attention, as New Delhi cautioned against the possibility of terrorist entities and individuals gaining access to chemical weapons.
“India has also been repeatedly cautioning against the possibility of terrorist entities and individuals gaining access to chemical weapons, including in the region,” India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador T S Tirumurti said.
Addressing the UN Security Council briefing on Syria (Chemical Weapons) Wednesday, Tirumurti said the reports of the Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) have also referred to the repeated deployments of chemical weapons by UN proscribed terrorist groups and those affiliated to ISIL against civilian populations between 2014 and 2016.
“ISIL remains active in Syria, where the group is seeking to rebuild its combat capabilities. Therefore, allegations of the use of chemical weapons need to be dealt with utmost attention,” he said.
He told the Council that India is against the use of chemical weapons by anybody, anywhere, at any time and under any circumstances.
“India has consistently maintained that any investigation into the use of chemical weapons must be impartial, credible, and objective, following scrupulously the provisions and procedures embedded in the Convention, and in conformity with the delicate balance of power and responsibility enshrined under it, to establish facts and reach evidence-based conclusions. This should be adhered to,” he said.
India encourages continued engagement between Syria and the Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to address and resolve all relevant issues relating to chemical weapons.
Emphasising that India’s position on issues related to Syria acceding to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is well known, he said it is New Delhi’s principled stand that CWC is a unique, non-discriminatory disarmament instrument for elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. India attaches high importance to the CWC, and stands for its full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation.
“We support the collective efforts by all the parties to ensure that the credibility and integrity of this Convention is maintained to the fullest,” he said.