The Secretary-General’s Mechanism for Investigation of Alleged Use of Chemical, Bacteriological (Biological) or Toxin Weapons

A lessons-learned exercise for the United Nations Mission in the Syrian Arab Republic


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In December 2013, upon completion of the UN Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, the Secretary-General called for a lessons-learned process to strengthen preparedness in order to enhance the effective application of the Secretary-General’s Mechanism (SGM) and its Guidelines in future investigations.

As a result, UNODA launched a comprehensive lessons-learned exercise with generous financial support from interested donors. A review of the challenges and areas for enhancing the operational readiness of the SGM in light of the experience in Syria has proven highly beneficial, including through identifying lessons in light of the uniqueness of the Syria case.

UNODA is pleased to share the final report of the exercise, including concrete conclusions and recommendations for strengthening the application of this important mechanism. This exercise has reinforced the value added of the SGM as well as supported the conclusion that the mechanism is an effective, impartial and objective tool for the investigation of alleged use of chemical or biological weapons.

UNODA looks forward to working with stakeholders in the next phase of the exercise, namely implementing the lessons and conclusions included in the final report.

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Publication date: May 2015