Exclusive: Syrians Lead Push to Create Global Chemical Weapons Tribunal


Illegal chemical weapons attacks killed and injured thousands during Syria's civil war, many of them children, but more than a decade later, the perpetrators go unpunished. 

That could change under an initiative to create a new tribunal for such atrocities launched in The Hague on Thursday. 

A dozen Syrian rights groups, international legal experts, and others have quietly spent two years laying the groundwork for a new treaty-based court which could put on trial alleged users of banned toxic agents worldwide. 

Many diplomatic and expert meetings between states have been held to discuss the proposal, including the political, legal, and funding feasibility, documents seen by Reuters showed. 

Diplomats from at least 44 countries across all continents have been engaged in the discussions, some of them at ministerial level, said Ibrahim Olabi, a British-Syrian barrister, a key figure behind the initiative. 

The Exceptional Chemical Weapons Tribunal proposal was launched on November 30, the day victims of chemical attacks are remembered worldwide. The next step will be for states to agree on the wording of a treaty. 

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