DAMASCUS, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- The joint mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations was established on Wednesday, according to an OPCW statement.
Sigrid Kaag was appointed as the special coordinator for the OPCW-UN joint mission, which was set up in a bid to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons in the safest and most secure manner possible, the statement said, adding that it will continue the work undertaken by the OPCW and the UN joint team already on ground in Syria.
The OPCW and the United Nations have also established separate but complementary Trust Funds, which were launched on Wednesday at the headquarters of the respective organizations, according to the statement.
The joint OPCW-UN team has conducted verification activities at a total of 11 Syrian chemical sites, the OPCW said in a separate statement earlier Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the OPCW said that its joint advance team with the United Nations had been reinforced with a second group of OPCW inspectors and more UN support staff, bringing the total strength of the joint team to 60.
It said the advance team had made "good progress" in verifying the information submitted by the Syrian government on its chemical weapon program.
The first group of chemical experts started their ground work on Oct. 6.
The United Nations Security Council said the OPCW will help Syria destroy its chemical weapons by mid-2014. The mission will be expanded with more investigators arriving in the unrest-torn country by Nov. 1.