The use of chemical weapons by any nation constitutes a significant threat to international peace and security. Nevertheless, in 2013 chemical weapons were used in Syria, sparking international outrage and condemnation. With pressure from the U.S. and Russia, Syria acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention in September 2013 and agreed to participate in an accelerated process to destroy the chemical weapons. While this has been received as an unexpected yet positive development, the implementation of such a process raises significant science and security issues.
On October 23, the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy and the Federation of American Scientists are convening a panel to discuss the science and security involved in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118 in Syria.
The speakers will explore the technical, political, and regional issues surrounding chemical weapons in Syria, including: the technical solutions and expertise required to ensure accelerated destruction of chemical weapons; the broader regional impact of Syria's accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention; and the challenges involved in carrying out destruction in a civil war environment.