Following a conference in Paris yesterday, 24 countries and the High Representative of the EU (Federica Mogherini), have agreed to sign the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons. This new Partnership aims to prevent, and hold accountable, those responsible for the use of chemical weapons. As a result, the participating states have committed themselves to a number of principles, in particular, to “use relevant mechanisms to designate individuals, entities, groups and governments involved in the proliferation or use of chemical weapons for sanctions”, and to “publicize [their] names… through a dedicated website”. The US has stated that “the Partnership supports and complements existing organizations and mechanisms, including the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)”, see press release here.
Prior to the Partnership being signed, France sanctioned a total of 17 people and entities (based mostly in Beirut, Damascus and Paris) for alleged links with chemical weapons in Syria (list here). As a result, asset freezes have been imposed for a period of 6 months. According to a French foreign ministry aide, no members of the Syrian government are on the list because “we don’t have enough information to enable us to take this up to the political level in Syria”.