Mr. President,

As it did during the 102nd session of the OPCW Executive Council held from 14 to 17 March in The Hague, Switzerland wishes to reaffirm its full confidence in the OPCW and all its missions, whose legality, integrity and professionalism are beyond doubt.

Switzerland calls for unwavering respect for international law, and in particular for the Chemical Weapons Convention, which is a fundamental pillar of our collective security. The case of Syria clearly demonstrates that it is currently under threat.

Over the past ten years, the obligations of the Convention have been repeatedly violated in Syria. Switzerland supports the conclusions of the recent report prepared in an impartial, objective and independent manner by the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team which investigated the attack in Douma in April 2018. This report concludes that there are "reasonable grounds to believe" that the perpetrators of this attack were members of the Syrian Air Force at the time of the incident.

Finally, the perpetrators of chemical attacks in Syria, as elsewhere, must be held accountable for their crimes. We welcome the formal cooperation between the OPCW and the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria. It is an important step towards the implementation of Security Council Resolution 2118 and towards respect for international law and the fight against impunity. We also underline the role that the Council can play in the fight against impunity.

In conclusion, I would like to reaffirm Switzerland's position of principle, which is also our common objective: the use of chemical weapons by anyone, at any time and in any circumstances, must be prevented.

Thank you for your attention.