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Yesterday's decision by the Special Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) on addressing the threat from chemical weapons use, proposed by thirty countries, is a crucial step towards preserving and upholding the global norm against the use of chemical weapons, which has been seriously threatened by the repeated use of such weapons over the past years in Syria, Iraq, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom.
The use of chemical weapons, including the use of any toxic chemical as weapon, by anyone, be it a State, or a non-State actor, anywhere, and under any circumstances is a war crime and may amount to a crime against humanity.
The CWC Conference's decision upholds the ability of the international community to combat their use, proliferation and impunity for their use, by enhancing, in particular, the capacity of the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW to identify the perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks in Syria and by affirming that whenever chemical weapons use occurs on the territory of a State Party, those who were the perpetrators, organisers, sponsors or otherwise involved, should be identified.
The European Union stands ready to support the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Technical Secretariat and to cooperate with all States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention with a view to the implementation of this Decision.
The European Union also recalls that it has adopted restrictive measures in the Syrian context against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons.