Magazine article UN Chronicle

Full Compliance Asked: 'Less Distance between Two Sides.' (Continuing UN Negotiations with Iraq)

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Full Compliance Asked: 'Less Distance between Two Sides.' (Continuing UN Negotiations with Iraq)

Article excerpt

Efforts to bring Iraq into full compliance with its obligations under relevant UN Security Council resolutions continued, with meetings by Rolf Ekeus, Executive Chairman of the UN Special Commission on Iraqi disarmament, with high-level officials in Baghdad, ending "on a positive note" in July.

A "frank, serious and comprehensive" exchange of views was held during the meetings (15-19 July), designed to "defuse the crisis that loomed around" Iraq's refusal to accept Council resolution 715 (1991), which provided monitoring to ensure Iraq's non-acquisition of weapons of mass destruction. Some common understandings" had been reached for further discussions, Mr. Ekeus stated in a 20 July letter (S/26127).

In addition, Iraq agreed to permit the installation of monitoring cameras at two rocket test sites. On 23 September, the Special Commission was informed that it would no longer be prevented from activating those cameras.

High-level technical talks on how to achieve Iraq's compliance with the ban on certain weapons under Council resolution 687 (1991), were held in New York from 31 August to 9 September.

Their overall outcome was reported as "relatively positive". Mr. Ekeus said on 13 September that Iraq was "talking seriously" about its obligations, and there was "less distance now between the two sides" than before the talks started.

Encouraging news that there had been "no allegations of violations" since 7 June was reported on 12 September by the Security Council Committee established by resolution 661 (1990) concerning the situation between Iraq and Kuwait (S/26430).

Sanctions against Iraq were maintained, after the Council on 20 September pronounced that there was "no agreement" that the necessary conditions existed for their modification. The Council reviews the sanctions every 60 days.

Talks on Iraqi oil sales, provided for in Council resolutions 706 (1991) and 712 (1991), were suspended on 15 July. By 1 September, about 195 million were deposited in the UN escrow account established under resolution 706 to cover the costs of the Special Commission, the Compensation Fund, the Boundary Commission, the return of all Kuwaiti property, and the humanitarian activities in Iraq.

The mandate of the UN Iraq-Kuwait observation Mission (UNIKOM) was extended for another six months, until 31 March 1994.

New York talks

The New York discussions between the Special Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on the one hand, and Iraq, on the other, proceeded in plenary session and five specialized group meetings on nuclear, chemical, biological, missile and operational issues.

Iraq insisted that ongoing monitoring should be carried out in a "non-intrusive manner", particularly in the context of its "security, sovereignty and independence", Executive Chairman Ekeus reported (S/26451) on 10 September.

The Commission suggested implementation in three stages: establishment of a monitoring and verification baseline, constructed primarily upon Iraq's declarations; inspection visits carried out as "non-intrusive and cooperative monitoring activities" for the purpose of building confidence; and possible reduction of sites to be monitored.

Mr. Ekeus believed that under the "best possible circumstances", the first baseline inspections could begin "shortly after 1 December 1993", with the second stage to be "phased in as soon as the first baseline inspections were concluded". …

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