This bulletin highlights significant events in the world of arms control in the coming week, as compiled by staff and friends of the Arms Control Association. (Send your suggestions here.)
– Jefferson Morley,
Senior Editorial Consultant, Arms Control Today
UN Inspectors to Report Saturday on Syrian Chemical Weapons
Amid news reports that the United States will launch an attack on Syria for use of chemical weapons, the U.N. inspection team investigating the chemical weapons attack that took place near Damascus on August 21 will leave Syria on Saturday and report their findings immediately to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, according to Reuters.
U.S. Attack Will Probably Not Target CW Storage Sites
A U.S. attack on the military facilities where Syria is believed to store its chemical weapons could spread toxic agents into the atmosphere and is thus considered unlikely by weapons experts. Syria is one of five countries that has neither signed nor ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention. Syria has signed the Biological Weapons Convention in 1972, but has not ratified the treaty.
Syria also possesses a number of other weapons types that represent risks in the region, as described in the article “Dealing with Syria’s Dangerous Arsenals” by Leonard S. Spector and Egle Murauskaite in the December 2012 issue of Arms Control Today.
Experts Panel to Assess Risks and Options on Iran
On September 5, the Arms Control Association and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace are sponsoring a panel discussion “Guarding Against a Nuclear Iran: Proliferations Risks and Diplomatic Options.” Digital copies of the newly updated edition of ACA’s 44-page briefing book on “Solving the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle” will be available at the event. Please RSVP online.
G20 Summit Won’t Include Obama-Putin Meeting
While leaders of 20 leading countries will gather in St. Petersburg, Russia on Sept. 5-6, President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not meet, according to spokesmen for the two leaders. The White House cancelled plans for Obama to meet Putin on the sidelines of the summit after Russia granted asylum to NSA contractor Edward Snowden who faces espionage charges in the United States. Obama is mulling a U.S. military strike on Syria, which Russia opposes. A Russian official told AFP Putin will greet the American president and “shake his hand” but would not hold a bilateral meeting.