want a resolution this week that provides enforcement to the terms of the Geneva accord between the U.S. and Russia. Efforts to agree on a resolution have encountered headwinds from Russia, Assads strongest ally, which opposes any measure with a threat of force. The Security Council is set to negotiate a resolution this week, as world leaders travel to New York for the opening of the UN General Assembly. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Sept. 20 it had received an initial disclosure from the Syrian government of its chemical weapons program. The Sept. 14 U.S.-Russian agreement, which averted an American military strike on Assads government, called for an itemization of Syria s poison gas stocks by yesterday. Initial Disclosure Ben Rhodes, White House deputy national security adviser, said Sept. 20 that it was a positive step for Syria to submit the list within the period outlined in the agreement, which calls for the Arab country to turn over its chemical weapons to international control for eventual destruction. There needs to be consequences for noncompliance, Rhodes told reporters on a conference call. We would want to see the strongest enforcement possible. The executive council of the chemical weapons organization in The Hague, which would oversee Syrias disarmament, said Sept.
Q+A-Russia, West at odds over plan to rid Syria of chemical arm
diplomats say. The U.S.-Russian deal came after an Aug. 21 sarin gas attack near Damascus that Washington says killed over 1,400 people, many of them children. Following are questions and answers about the plan to dismantle Syria’s poison gas program. WHAT IS THE SIZE OF SYRIA’S CHEMICAL ARSENAL? Syria has roughly 1,000 tonnes of chemical toxins – including mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin and VX – spread over as many as 50 sites around the country. WHAT HAPPENS AT THE HAGUE’S CHEMICAL ARMS AGENCY? The 41-member Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ( OPCW ) in The Hague is expected to vote on a joint Russian-American proposal to rapidly verify and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile on Tuesday. That vote has been repeatedly delayed. According to the U.S.-Russian framework agreement, the chemical arms agency’s Executive Council will detail “special procedures for expeditious destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons program and stringent verification thereof.” The chemical arms agency’s decision must be approved by a simple majority of council members, though agreement is almost always reached through a consensus, which is expected in Syria’s case. The council meets behind closed doors, but may be open to observer countries that are not yet members. Syria is not yet a full member. Syria acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention this month in line with the U.S.-Russia deal. Its accession to the treaty comes into force in October.