The OPCW-UN Joint Mission was formally established on 16 October 2013, based on recommendations developed in close consultations between the United Nations Secretary-General and the OPCW Director-General. The mandate of the Joint Mission derived from OPCW Executive Council decision EC-M-33/DEC.1 and UN Security Council resolution 2118 (2013), both dated 27 September, and followed by recommendations on the setting-up of the Joint Mission presented in a letter, dated 7 October 2013, from the UN Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council.
The Joint Mission was mandated to oversee the timely elimination of the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic in in the safest and most secure manner possible.
Within the Joint Mission, the OPCW and the United Nations operated in areas of their particular competencies.
Given the operating environment, the Joint Mission had a “light footprint” in Syria, deploying only those personnel whose presence was necessary to perform key tasks.
The OPCW Executive Council decision EC-M-33/Dec.1, endorsed by the UN Security Council resolution 2118 (2013), put in place timelines for the elimination of the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic:
- Verification activities, in accordance with the disclosure made by the Syrian Arab Republic, were to be initiated no later than 1 October;
- The Syrian Arab Republic was to submit its initial declaration required by Article III of the Chemical Weapons Convention by 27 October;
- By 30 June 2014 for the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons programme;
The elimination of Syria's chemical weapons programme by 30 June 2014.
Reports on the implementation of EC-M-33/Dec1 and Resolution 2118 (2013)
Pursuant to operative paragraph 2 (f) of the OPCW Executive Council decision EC-M-33/Dec.1 and operative paragraph 12 of UN Security Council resolution 2118 (2103), the OPCW Director-General was requested to report to the Executive Council on a monthly basis on the implementation of the EC decision. The OPCW Director-General was also requested to report to the UN Security Council, through the UN Secretary-General, who shall include relevant information on United Nations activities related to the implementation of this resolution, within 30 days and every month thereafter.
Completion of mandate
The OPCW-UN Joint Mission completed its mandate, and its operations drew to a close on 30 September.
Following the closing of the mission, the Secretary-General expressed his deep gratitude to the Special Coordinator, Ms. Sigrid Kaag, as well as all the staff members from both the UN and the OPCW, noting that the Mission had successfully conducted its work under extremely challenging and complex circumstances.