Showing disappointment over the inability of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to end the war in Syria and act on other Middle East issues, Saudi Arabia refused an esteemed seat on the UNSC.
It cited the Security Council’s failure to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, take measures to end Syria’s civil war and curb nuclear proliferation in the region as the reason behind its turning down the membership. On the contrary, it accused the global body of perpetuating conflicts and grievances.
Saudi Arabia was one of five countries elected by the UN’s General Assembly to serve a two-year term as a non-permanent member on the 15-member Security Council.
UN confirmed that it has received documents from Syria on joining the Chemical Weapons Convention.
- The convention requires all parties to declare and destroy all of the chemical weapons they possess.
- Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has the job is to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty which came into force in 1997 and which requires all member nations to eliminate their chemical weapons stocks and related facilities.
- The Norwegian Nobel Committee recently awarded the OPCW the Nobel Peace Prize 2013 for “its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”.
- OPCW was created in 1997.
- OPCW is based in The Hague, Netherlands
- Full name of the treaty: “The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction“
- The treaty entered into force in 1997.
- Syria is the 190th country to join the convention.
- Only 6 UN states have yet to sign the international treaty, they are: Angola, Burma, Egypt, Israel, North Korea and South Sudan.
Iraq ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), a treaty which provides for nuclear disarmament and bans nuclear weapons explosions at any place under the jurisdiction or control of the signatory. However, CTBT cannot enter into force until eight specific nations don’t ratify it.
What is CTBT?
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is an international accord which seeks to ban all nuclear explosions in all environments for military or civilian purposes. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on September 10, 1996, but it has not entered into force due to the non-ratification of eight specific states.
What is required for the CTBT to come into force?
There is a list of 44 states in Annex 2 of the CTBT. These “Annex 2 states” are states that participated in the CTBT’s negotiations between 1994 and 1996 and possessed nuclear power reactors or research reactors at that time. The treaty has to be ratified by these states. The treaty has been ratified only by 36 states including France, Russia and Britain.
Which are the eight States who have not signed/ratified CTBT?
These nations are China, Egypt, Iran, Israel and the United States who have signed but not ratified the Treaty and India, North Korea and Pakistan who have not signed it.
What is the status of CTBT in the Middle East?
In the Middle East, Egypt, Israel, Iran, and Yemen have not yet ratified the CTBT, while Saudi Arabia and Syria remain outside as non-signatories. Efforts to create a zone in the Middle East free of nuclear weapons have failed to make progress, with a hoped-for meeting in late 2012 failing to take place.
As per the report released by the U.N., the experts have found large-scale use of banned chemical weapons in Syria. The U.N. inspectors have found clear evidence that “Sarin Gas” killed hundreds of people in an attack on Ghouta near Damascus on August 21, 2013.
The attack triggered threats by the US and other western nations of a military action against President Bashar al-Assad regime. The United States says more than 1,400 people died in Ghouta. Mr. Assad has rejected the allegations of using sarin and blamed opposition rebels for the attack whereas Western nations say only the government has such weapons.
Recently, the US and Russia agreed to destroy the Syrian stockpiles of chemical weapons. A U.N.-mandated independent panel of inquiry into rights violations in the Syria war announced separately that it was investigating 14 alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria. The latest findings are likely to affect the future course of action by the UN on Syria issue. However, Russia has made it clear that it is not in favor of any military strike against Assad regime.