Press release

Foreign Secretary hails UK-led effort to bolster OPCW attribution powers

The Foreign Secretary has welcomed the result of a vote at the OPCW to increase the organisation's budget.


On 20 November, the Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention approved the budget proposed by the Director General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) by 99 votes to 27 votes. This means that the international chemical weapons watchdog now has the resources it needs to determine responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

In June, the UK and international partners secured agreement to task the OPCW Director General with setting up arrangements to identify perpetrators of chemical attacks in Syria. A small group of countries opposed this initiative and today forced a vote on the budget needed to implement it.

The Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

This decision is a major step towards deterring the future use of these dreadful weapons and protecting innocent civilians from their devastating effects. It sends a clear message that the entire international community will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons under any circumstances. And it strengthens the rules based international system that keeps us all safe. The UK led the diplomatic efforts to secure this action and will continue to work tirelessly to protect the world from the horror of chemical weapons.

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Published 21 November 2018