Syria chairing world disarmament body 'a travesty': US

During the first open session of Syria's presidency today, the United States led a number of diplomats in protest.

Published: 29th May 2018 03:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th May 2018 03:21 PM   |  A+A-

U.S. Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood speaks at a media briefing prior the Conference on Disarmament under Syrian presidency, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, May 29, 2018. | AP


GENEVA: The US ambassador to the UN in Geneva said today it was "a travesty" that Syria would head the Conference on Disarmament, leaving briefly when the Syrian representative took the floor.

"Syria's presence here is a travesty. This regime has committed countless crimes against its own people through the use of chemical weapons, and it is just unacceptable for them to be leading this body," Robert Wood told AFP just before the session began.

"They don't have the moral authority or the credibility to preside over this body, and we are going to make very clear during their four-week presidency that we find it abhorrent," he added.

Syria yesterday took over the rotating presidency of Conference on Disarmament (CD), according to a decades-old practice among the body's 65 members following the alphabetical order of country names in English.

During the first open session of Syria's presidency today, the United States led a number of diplomats in protest. Wood briefly left the room when Syria's ambassador Hussam Edin Aala opened the session, before returning to voice Washington's displeasure from the floor.

"Today marks a sad and shameful day in the history of this body," he told the assembly. "Let me be clear: we cannot permit 'business as usual' in the CD while Syria presides over this body," he said.

"During the next four weeks, we will be present in this hall to ensure that Syria is not able to advance initiatives that run counter to the interests of the United States, but we will fundamentally alter the nature of our presence in the plenaries," he said.

Following his statement, Wood moved in protest to a seat usually reserved for assistants. Wood's words were echoed by a number of ambassadors from other countries, including Britain, Australia.

The French representative also said Syria "does not have the moral authority to lead this body."

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)
UN Syria


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp