UNSCOM: CHRONOLOGY OF MAIN EVENTS
12 Nov 1997 Security Council resolution 1137 (1997), condemns the continued violation by Iraq of its obligations, including its unacceptable decision to seek to impose conditions on cooperation with UNSCOM. It also imposes a travel restriction on Iraqi officials who are responsible for or participated in the instances of non-compliance.
13 Nov 1997 Iraq requires the personnel of United States nationality working for UNSCOM to leave Iraq immediately. The Executive Chairman decides the majority of the UNSCOM personnel should withdraw temporarily from Iraq. A skeleton staff remains in Baghdad to maintain UNSCOM's premises and equipment.
13 Nov 1997 Statement by the President of the Security Council in which the Council condemns the unacceptable decision of Iraq in expelling personnel of UNSCOM of a specified nationality, demands Iraq to rescind its decisions of 29 October 1997 and demands that Iraq cooperate fully with UNSCOM (S/PRST/1997/51).
20 Nov 1997 Following intensive diplomatic activity an agreement is reached between Iraq and the Russian Federation whereby Iraq accepts the return of the Commission with its full complement of staff to resume its work in Iraq. The Commissions personnel, who had been temporarily withdrawn to Bahrain, return to Iraq on 21 November and resume their inspection activities the following day.
21 Nov 1997 An Emergency Session of the Special Commission is held in New York in order to discuss and advise on ways to make the work more effective. The report of the Emergency Session is submitted to the Security Council (S/1997/922).
3 Dec 1997 Statement by the President of the Security Council in which the Council endorses the conclusions and recommendations of the Emergency Session of the Commission. The Council also stresses that the effectiveness and speed with which UNSCOM might accomplish its responsibilities was determined by the degree to which Iraq cooperated in disclosing the full extent and disposition of its proscribed programmes, and in granting UNSCOM unimpeded to all sites, records and individuals. The Council further welcomes the progress achieved by UNSCOM and the IAEA in the various disarmament areas (S/PRST/1997/54).
17 Dec 1997 The Executive Chairman returns to New York from Iraq and reports, inter alia, to the Council that Iraq would not permit the Commissions inspectors into a category of sites (Presidential and Sovereign) hitherto not identified to the Council or the Commission as being off-limits to inspection (S/1997/987).
22 Dec 1997 The President of the Security Council issues a statement in which members of the Council call upon the Government of Iraq to cooperate fully with the Commission and stress that failure by Iraq to provide immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any site is unacceptable (S/PRST/1997/56).
13 Jan 1998 The Executive Chairman reports to the Council that during the first day of an inspection, Iraq announced that it was withdrawing its cooperation with the inspection team on the pretext that the team had too many individuals of US or UK nationality (S/1998/27 of 13 January 1998).
14 Jan 1998 Iraq continues to block the work of the inspection team.
14 Jan 1998 The President of the Security Council issues a statement terming Iraqs actions unacceptable and a clear violation of the relevant resolutions and reiterates its demand that Iraq cooperate fully and immediately without conditions (S/PRST/1998/1).
22 Jan 1998 Following a visit to Iraq, the Executive Chairman reports to the Council that, despite the Councils Statement on the need for unrestricted access to all sites, the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq continues to assert that Iraq would not permit access to eight so-called Presidential sites (S/1998/58).
Early Feb Two technical evaluation meetings (TEMS) take place in Baghdad, reviewing 1998 the position with respect to the chemical weapons agent VX. and missile warheads. The report of the outcome of the meetings is submitted to the Council (document S/1998/176). Despite Iraqs assertions and it having had a full opportunity to present its views on all matters pertaining to the two issues, the team of UNSCOM international experts conclude unanimously that Iraq has still not provided sufficient information for the Commission to conclude that Iraq had undertaken all the disarmament steps required of it in these areas. The Commissions experts provide the Council with an oral briefing of the outcome on these two TEMS in March 1998.
15-18 Feb 1998 In order to understand the scope (size and perimeters) of the eight Presidential sites which Iraq had decided to declare off-limits to the Commissions inspectors, the Secretary-General decides to despatch a technical survey team to Iraq. The report of this mission is forwarded to the Council under cover of a letter from the Secretary-General to the President of the Council (S/1998/166 Add.1).
20-23 Feb 1998 The Secretary-General visits Iraq. As a result of his meetings, the United Nations and the Republic of Iraq agree on the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MO.) (S/1998/166) which was signed on 23 February. The Secretary-General secures Iraqs reconfirmation of its acceptance of all relevant resolutions of the Council and the reiteration of its undertaking to cooperate fully with the Commission and the IAEA. In the Memorandum, Iraq also undertakes to accord to UNSCOM and the IAEA immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access in conformity with the resolutions of the Council. For its part, the United Nations reiterates the commitment of all member States to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. The Memorandum also includes an undertaking by the Commission to respect the legitimate concerns of Iraq relating to national security, sovereignty and dignity. The Memorandum also provides for the establishment of special procedures which would apply to initial and subsequent entries for the performance of the tasks mandated at the eight Presidential sites. The Memorandum. also makes provisions for the appointment of a Commissioner to head the Special Group established for the mandated tasks at Presidential sites. Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala is appointed to this position by the Secretary-General.