https://diyaruna.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_di/newsbriefs/2018/06/27/newsbrief-04

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World governments vote to boost powers of chemical watchdog

World governments on Wednesday (June 27th) voted to boost the powers of the global chemical weapons watchdog to enable it to name those behind toxic arms attacks in Syria, AFP reported.

In a social media post, the British delegation said the decision at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Conference of State Parties had passed with 82 votes in favour and 24 against.

The proposal passed despite fierce opposition from Russia, Syria and Iran.

Britain and the US on Tuesday led a call to halt the use of chemical weapons by empowering the OPCW to name those behind attacks.

Syria and Russia have denied using poison gases and a nerve agent in recent months, and argued there should be no change to the mandate of the OPCW.

In the absence of any mechanism to identify who is behind such attacks, Britain put forward a proposal that the OPCW should be mandated to "attribute responsibility for chemical weapons attacks".

The talks come as the OPCW is expected to unveil its report into an alleged sarin and chlorine gas attack in April in the Syrian town of Douma.

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