NOTE BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
1. The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the Security Council a report submitted by the Deputy Executive Chairman of the Special Commission established by the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 9 (b) (i) of Security Council resolution 687 (1991) of 3 April 1991.
2. The present report is the eighth semi-annual report by the Special Commission following the adoption of Security Council resolution 1051 (1996) of 27 March 1996, in paragraph 16 of which the Council called for the consolidation of the reports required under the Council's resolutions 699 (1991) of 17 June 1991 and 715 (1991) of 11 October 1991.
Report on the activities of the Special Commission
established by the Secretary-General pursuant to
paragraph 9 (b) (i) of resolution 687 (1991)
1. The present report covers the period from 12 April to 11 October 1999. It describes the activities that the Special Commission was able to carry out pursuant to the mandates given to it under Security Council resolutions 687 (1991), 707 (1991), 715 (1991) and 1051 (1996) in the circumstances prevailing.
2. As noted in previous reports, under the terms of resolutions 1115 (1997) and 1134 (1997), the Executive Chairman is requested to include in his consolidated progress reports an annex evaluating Iraq's compliance with paragraphs 2 and 3 of resolution 1115 (1997). As the Security Council is aware, the Commission's personnel in Iraq were withdrawn in December 1998 and have not been permitted to return to Iraq and conduct inspections since that time. Nor has Iraq provided the Commission with declarations and notifications required of it under relevant Council resolutions.
II. DEVELOPMENTS AND ACTIVITIES DURING THE PERIOD UNDER REVIEW
3. Richard Butler completed his two-year tenure as Executive Chairman of the Special Commission on 30 June 1999 and a successor has not been appointed. Charles Duelfer, Deputy Executive Chairman, is officer-in-charge.
4. The Commission notes with regret the recent death of Jack Ooms of the Netherlands, who served as a Commissioner since its inception in 1991. He assisted in the establishment of the Commission's chemical monitoring activity, the certification of the chemical laboratory in Baghdad and the programme to destroy large quantities of Iraq's declared stocks of chemical warfare agents. His experience and dedication played a key role in the work of the Commission and in other disarmament efforts around the world.
5. While no inspections or monitoring work were carried out in Iraq during the reporting period, the Commission has continued to carry out as much of its mandate as possible, focusing on activities that would facilitate the resumption of United Nations disarmament and monitoring work in Iraq as mandated by the Security Council.
6. During the period under review, the Commission's activities fell into three main categories:
(a) Continuing analysis of data in the Commission's possession. Since 1991, the Commission has accumulated a large store of data from its inspections, Iraq's declarations and other sources. New information also continues to be received. Commission staff are organizing, analysing and computerizing these data to make them more readily usable. This work has not changed the technical assessments reported previously to the Security Council;
(b) Detailed design and planning for renewed and strengthened ongoing monitoring and verification. Drawing upon its previous experience in Iraq, the work of the panel on disarmament and monitoring established by the Security Council early in 1999, and taking into account developments since December 1998, the Commission's staff is preparing a paper with detailed recommendations for a reconstituted system, including steps and timelines for its implementation. The objective is to advance the planning as much as possible for use when such monitoring is established;
(c) Export/import data collection and analysis. The export/import unit has continued to receive notifications from Governments with respect to the supply to Iraq of dual-use materials. The data are being registered in the export/import database and analysed to support future monitoring.
7. At the request of the President of the Security Council, the Commission has provided written information and oral briefings on different matters during informal consultations of the Council. In particular, briefings were provided on the status of the Commission's chemical laboratory in Baghdad and the issue of Iraq's VX programme, including the disposition of special missile warheads. The Commission's chemical laboratory and biological room were shut down in July. The Secretary-General has reported to the Council separately on this issue.
8. The Commission has remained conscious of the need to sustain a viable core of expertise, support staff and essential physical assets to enable the prompt start of work in Iraq if the situation permits. Beyond this, the Commission's staff and physical assets have been reduced to a level commensurate with its limited current activities.
9. During the period under review, the Commission sought to settle some of its liabilities and reimbursed some Governments for earlier contributions made in support of the Commission's work. The Government of France received payment for a camera system provided earlier to the Commission for its premises in Baghdad. The Government of Chile was reimbursed for earlier expenditures incurred by providing helicopter support to the Commission. The Government of Germany was reimbursed for costs incurred by the provision of air support to the Commission between April 1995 and September 1996.
10. The Commission held discussions with the Government of Chile concerning the status of its helicopters that remain in Iraq. An understanding was reached regarding the status of those helicopters and the Government of Chile's willingness to continue providing helicopter support when inspection work resumes in Iraq. The Commission appreciates the Government of Chile's continued support.
11. The Office of the Secretary-General and the Special Commission have conducted discussions with the Government of Bahrain over the presence of the field office in Bahrain, which has proved invaluable in the past for the Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In the light of those discussions, the Secretary-General and the Director General of IAEA addressed a letter to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, on 29 September 1999, proposing an interim arrangement regarding the field office.
12. The field office in Bahrain is being held in caretaker status to preserve the capability to restart work as effectively and quickly as possible once the Security Council decides on future arrangements. In July the Commission moved the field office to a new location, in Manama, at the request of the Bahraini authorities. The Commission wishes to put on record its appreciation for the Government of Bahrain's generous provision of such facilities.
13. The Commission is grateful to those Governments that provide support and information relevant to its mandate. Additional information, in particular with respect to supplier data related to Iraq's prohibited programmes, would be of considerable value in assessing Iraq's compliance.
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