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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syria: UN chief names panel to probe accountability for chemical weapons use

15 September 2015 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Virginia Gamba of Argentina to head the independent three-member panel that will lead the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) tasked with identifying those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The Mechanism is a joint venture between the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It will be tasked with identifying "individuals, entities, groups, or governments involved in the use of chemicals as weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical," in Syria, as mandated by Security Council resolution 2235.

Ms. Gamba, who brings with her more than 30 years of experience and leadership on disarmament, is currently serving as Deputy to the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. She has provided key support to two earlier missions related to chemical weapons in Syria led by Åke Sellström and Sigrid Kaag.

Mr. Ban also intends to appoint Adrian Neritani of Albania and Eberhard Schanze of Germany to the panel. Mr. Neritani will be responsible for the political component, while Mr. Schanze will be responsible for the investigative component.

The appointments will be made following the usual consultations and in coordination with the Director-General of the OPCW, as was the case with Ms. Gamba's appointment.

UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told reporters that the Secretary-General reiterates his call for all parties in Syria to cooperate fully with the Joint Investigative Mechanism.

"He counts on the continued engagement and support of the members of the Security Council as well as the entire UN membership to ensure the effective implementation of this resolution."

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