Support to help ensure that chemical weapons are never again used against the Syrian people
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced Canadian support to the international effort to rid Syria of its chemical weapons. The announcement was made at the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, during the last leg of the Prime Minister’s first official visit to the Middle East, from January 18-25, 2014.
Support is being provided through Canada’s Global Partnership Program and will go to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) destruction trust fund, which was set up to finance the treatment and disposal of organic and inorganic chemicals declared by Syria. Additional support will be provided to the U.S. Department of Defence to assist with the destruction of priority chemicals on board the U.S. ship, the MV Cape Ray.
These contributions are in addition to the support that Canada provided proactively to the OPCW early in 2013 to support a possible investigation of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. As well, in October 2013 a Canadian Armed Forces aircraft was provided to deliver 10 U.S. armoured civilian vehicles to the region for use by the joint OPCW-UN inspection team in Syria.
- New support through Canada’s Global Partnership Program (GPP) will aid OPCW efforts to rid Syria of its chemical weapons.
- The GPP is the main program through which Canada supports international efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and related materials, and knowledge to non-state actors and states of proliferation concern.
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to the Middle East is the first by a sitting Canadian Prime Minister in more than a decade.
“The use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians was an atrocity that cannot be allowed to happen again. Canada is pleased to join the international community in helping destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles.” - Prime Minister Stephen Harper
“I commend the work by inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, including Canadians such as Scott Cairns, who have shown extraordinary bravery in carrying out their duties throughout the Syrian crisis. Their dedication is instrumental to the success of this operation in the short and long term.” - Prime Minister Stephen Harper