Statement to the Conference on Disarmament
29 May 2018
Australia Canada and Turkey
I take the floor today on behalf of Australia, Canada and Turkey to express our regret about Syria’s assumption of the presidency of the Conference on Disarmament (CD). We are committed to the Conference as the world’s single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum. However, our governments feel strongly that the credibility of this body is undermined when the representative of a state which has clearly violated its international disarmament and non-proliferation obligations presides over this body.
Despite long-running and ongoing international efforts to ensure the destruction of Syria’s declared chemical weapons program - efforts to which we have contributed - independent international investigations have concluded that Syria has continued to use chemical weapons.
Syria’s repeated use of chemical weapons in breach of the Chemical Weapons Convention – an instrument that is one of the signature achievements of the Conference amounts to a violation of international law as well as a blatant contravention of the basic principles of humanity.
We wish to record our principled opposition to Syria’s past and continuing actions in relation to chemical weapons use, but hope that the Conference will work constructively during this period.