Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   22 April

Anger as Syria heads global disarmament body

YEREVAN, MAY 28, ARMENPRESS. Members of the UN have expressed dismay over Syria becoming president of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva, BBC reports.

The move comes just weeks after the latest reported chemical weapons attack, in which the Syrian authorities are widely believed to have used chemical agents against civilians.

"The UK deplores the fact that Syria will assume the presidency of the Conference on Disarmament, given the regime's consistent and flagrant disregard of international non-proliferation and disarmament norms and agreements," said a statement by British diplomats.

Meanwhile, Robert Wood, Washington's ambassador in Geneva, tweeted: "Monday, May 28 will be one of the darkest days in the history of the Conference on Disarmament with Syria beginning its four-week presidency. The Damascus regime has neither the credibility nor moral authority to preside over the CD. The international community must not be silent."

In an earlier tweet, he called on Russia to ask Syria to step aside. That appeal appears to have met with no response.

Syria takes over from Switzerland simply because it follows Switzerland in the alphabetical list of member states.

And the Conference on Disarmament is not even a UN body, but holds its meetings at the UN in Geneva.

"Even the secretary general himself cannot change the system," said one UN official. "It has to be changed by member states."


English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan


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