Scott Spence discusses Syria at the Asser Institute's WMD Summer Programme

VERTIC Senior Legal Officer, Scott Spence, discussed Syria on 6 September, on a panel at the Fourth Summer Programme on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, held at the T.M.C. Asser Institute for International Law in The Hague, the Netherlands, from 2 to 6 September 2013.

The specific objectives of the WMD Programme are:

  • to provide a broad, comparative understanding of the history, purpose and provisions of treaties on WMDs;
  • to provide an understanding of the diplomatic, legal and technical aspects of organisations dealing with WMDs;
  • to illustrate how treaties on WMDs are implemented at the national level; and
  • to provide networking opportunities by bringing the participants in direct contact with officials of the leading organisations in the field of WMDs.

Mr Spence joined Dr Alastair Hay, Professor of Environmental Toxicology and Epidemiology at the University of Leeds, for a morning panel on the UN investigative mission to Syria for the alleged use of chemical weapons. Mr Spence discussed, in particular, the procedures and scope of the UN Secretary-General’s Mechanism for Investigation of Alleged Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons. He also went into detail into accountability for perpetrators at the international level (e.g. prosecution by the International Criminal Court) and at the national level (national prosecution based on effective legislation to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention), if the UNSG Mechanism confirms that chemical weapons were used. The statement can be found here.   

Mr Spence also joined an afternoon session with Richard Guthrie from CBW Events and Paul Walker from Global Green/Green Cross to discuss engaging academia and civil society in WMD disarmament and non-proliferation. Mr Spence gave practical examples in his statement of work VERTIC is doing, in co-operation with individual States and international organisations, for national implementation of the CWC, BWC and certain international legal instruments for nuclear security.

Last changed: Sep 07 2013 at 11:41 AM