INTERVIEW: Head of OPCW-UN team awaits next steps on destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons

The Joint Mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations overseeing the destruction of Syria’s weapons programme confirmed yesterday that the Government has destroyed critical production equipment, rendering them inoperable. By doing so, Syria has met the deadline set by the OPCW Executive Council to complete the destruction of such equipment by 1 November.

FEATURE: Working alongside UN in Syria, chemical weapons watchdog adapts to war, publicity

After years of remarkable but largely unheralded success at ridding the world of mustard gas and deadly nerve agents like sarin and VX, inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have now been thrown into entirely new territory – working amid Syria’s bloody civil war and in the glare of the media following a surprise Nobel Peace Prize win two weeks ago.

Syria: joint OPCW-UN chemical weapons team reports visits to nearly all declared sites

The Joint Mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations dealing with Syria’s chemical weapons programme reports that it has now visited 18 of the sites disclosed by Damascus, a spokesperson for the chemical watchdog said today.

UN chemical weapons investigators depart Syria after six-day mission

The United Nations team investigating allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria has left the country after completing its six-day mission, a spokesperson for the world body said today.

India school deaths highlight need to phase out toxic pesticides – UN agency

The tragic incident in India in which nearly two dozen children died after eating a contaminated school meal is a stark reminder that highly hazardous pesticides should be phased out in developing countries, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today.

Syria: Ban renews call for on-site access for chemical weapons probe team

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today renewed his appeal for unfettered access to Syria for the United Nations team probing the alleged use of chemical weapons during the conflict, as he met in New York with the head of the investigation.

Head of UN probe into chemical weapons use in Syria says preparatory work has begun

The newly-appointed head of the United Nations investigation into allegations of reported chemical weapons use in Syria says that preparations for the probe have begun and the mission could start in a week or two.

Marking Day, Ban urges complete elimination of chemical weapons

Marking the annual Remembrance Day for All Victims of Chemical Warfare, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged the world to build on progress so far made towards the complete elimination of chemical weapons and to promote the international convention banning their use and stockpiling.

UN experts call for two pesticides to join international trade watch list

United Nations experts have recommended that two pesticides be added to a trade “watch list” under a UN-backed treaty aimed at helping poorer countries more effectively manage potentially harmful imported substances.

World nears safer standards on chemical use, says UN agency

The world has moved significantly closer towards safe production, use and disposal of chemicals, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced today at the close of a major international conference.