Monday, April 16, 2018

In ironic twist, Syria to head UN panel on chemical disarmament - Israel Hayom Staff

by Israel Hayom Staff

NGO U.N. Watch calls out European countries for not speaking out • U.S. State Department calls the U.N. decision an "outrage."

A Syrian child who was hurt in last week's chemical attack in Douma
Photo: AP
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, the president of the Geneva based nongovernmental organization U.N. Watch, called out European countries for not speaking out against the U.N. on this matter.
"If U.K., France, Germany & others stay silent as Syria assumes presidency of U.N.'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 U.N. hall.
U.S. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert also condemned the U.N.'s decision, calling it an "outrage."
"That would be an outrage if Syria were to take control of that," Nauert 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 U.N. 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."
While the post is largely formal, "Syria holding the president's gavel is liable to seriously undermine the U.N.'s credibility, and will send absolutely the worst message," Neuer said.

Israel Hayom Staff


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