In Ironic Twist, Syria to Head UN Panel on Chemical Disarmament
JNS.org – Despite allegations that it carried out yet another deadly chemical weapons attack last Saturday, Syria will next month chair the United Nations disarmament forum that produced the treaty banning chemical weapons.
Syria will assume the presidency of the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament, based in Geneva, on May 28 and hold it over four weeks, until June 24.
Hillel Neuer, president of the Geneva-based nongovernmental organization UN Watch, called out European countries for not speaking out against the United Nations on this matter.
“If UK, France, Germany & others stay silent as Syria assumes presidency of UN’s Conference on Disarmament—the body which produced the treaty against chemical weapons—this will make a mockery of everything they said this week,” Neuer tweeted.
“Having the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad preside over global chemical and nuclear weapons disarmament will be like putting a serial rapist in charge of a women’s shelter,” said Neuer.
The NGO announced it intends to hold protests outside the UN hall.
US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert also condemned the UN’s decision, calling it an “outrage.”
“That would be an outrage if Syria were to take control of that,” she said. “We have seen these types of things happen at the United Nations before, where suspicious countries, countries that run against everything that an individual committee should stand for, will then head up that committee.”
Under UN rules, the Syrian ambassador to the forum, Hussam Edin Aala, will “represent the body in its relations with states, the General Assembly and other organs of the United Nations, and with other international organizations.”