On 8 June, the Security Council adopted resolution 1546 (2004), which again reaffirmed its intention to revisit the mandates of UNMOVIC and the IAEA with regard to verifications of the disarmament of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. UNMOVIC1
continued to operate under the assertion, that, as the Security Council had not rescinded its mandate, the possibility of future redeployment to Iraq and other ongoing work necessitated a sustained level of readiness to resume its operations there.
The Executive Chairman is required to report to the Security Council every three months on the implementation of resolution 1284 (1999). Accordingly, the Acting Executive Chairman submitted written reports and continued to brief the Security Council orally on a quarterly basis after consulting the College of Commissioners. The College of Commissioners held two regular sessions in New York and one regular session in Vienna.2
On 5 March, the Acting Executive Chairman briefed the Security Council on the first quarterly report of 2004, covering the period from 1 December 2003 to 29 February 2004.3
It was noted that there was no official information made available to UNMOVIC on either the results or the work of the investigations of the US-led Iraq Survey Group. The Survey Group did not request any information from UNMOVIC.
During the period under review, the Commission continued to compare material in the public domain on the issues pertaining to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction against UNMOVIC's own material. The Commission continued its work on draft modifications to the ongoing monitoring and verification plan for Iraq and its annexes,4
e.g., incorporating experiences and practices and updating items and materials contained in the monitoring plan. Other continuing activities dealt with the compilation of a compendium on the nature and extent of Iraq's past proscribed weapons and programmes.
On 9 June, the Acting Executive Chairman reported to the Security Council on the Commission's activities from 1 March to 31 May 2004.5
At its sixteenth regular session in Vienna on 25 May, the College of Commissioners underlined that UNMOVIC's priority was to maintain its readiness to resume operations in Iraq until the Council revisits the mandate.
On 8 September, the Acting Executive Chairman informed the Security Council of UNMOVIC's continuing investigation into the discovery of items relevant to its mandate that had been exported from Iraq as scrap metal. 6
The Commission continued to conduct off-site assessment of the status of sites subject to monitoring that were damaged during the war and more recently in some cases completely razed. In the light of changes and experiences on the ground in Iraq, the Commission continued to work on possible changes to the ongoing monitoring and verification plan,7
e.g., examining the degree of access that would enable UNMOVIC to fulfill its mandate. Furthermore, a short summary of the Commission's findings on the issue of Iraq's remotely piloted and unmanned aerial vehicle programmes was attached to the report.
At the 7 December briefing, the Acting Executive Chairman informed the Security Council about the activities of UNMOVIC from 1 September to 30 November.8
UNMOVIC was studying the comprehensive report of the Special Advisor to the United States Director of Central Intelligence for Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction,9
and was comparing its own knowledge and findings with those of the Survey Group. Further, the Commission's experts continued to use commercial satellite imagery to assess the status of sites subject to monitoring. It continued work dealing with the destruction of SA-2 missile engines and other items. As noted in the report (S/2004/693), various items that had been under monitoring in Iraq had been located at scrap yards in Jordan in June 2004. With support from the Government of Jordan, these engines and three more found later by the Jordanian authorities, together with four other missile and chemical related dual-use items, were destroyed in Jordan during August and October 2004, in the presence of an UNMOVIC inspector. The Commission continued its work on producing a compendium of Iraq's proscribed weapons and programmes with an emphasis on lessons learned. The first draft is expected to be ready by March 2005.
Pursuant to Security Council resolution 1284 (1999), UNMOVIC continued to hold training courses and exercises throughout the year to maintain the technical skills and expertise of its staff. To maintain the availability of the network of analytical laboratories established in accordance with its organizational plan, UNMOVIC extended existing arrangements for an additional year until early 2006. This will allow a total of 11 analytical laboratories to be available to support the work of the Commission, when so requested. The list of laboratories was set out in Appendix II of document S/2004/160.
At the end of 2004, UNMOVIC staff totaled 51 weapons experts and other personnel drawn from 25 nationalities, 9 of whom were women. UNMOVIC retained a core staff of nine local nationals in Baghdad who maintained the existing offices, laboratories and other equipment at the Canal Hotel. The Cyprus Field Office continued to store and maintain UNMOVIC inspection and monitoring equipment recovered from Iraq. A complete inventory of all UNMOVIC property outside Iraq was completed on 24 June 2004. The premises of the UNMOVIC Field Office in Bahrain were handed over by UNMOVIC to the Civil Aviation Affairs of the Ministry of Transport of Bahrain on 3 December 2003. For more information, see S/2004/160.
The College of Commissioners held regular sessions on 24 February 2004 in New York; on 25 May 2004 in Vienna; and on 17-18 November in New York.
S/2004/160. This and other Security Council resolutions and documents are available at http:/www.un.org/Docs/SC.
Security Council resolution 715 (1991).
As approved by Security Council resolution 715 (1991).
On 8 October, the US-led Iraq Survey Group presented the report to UNMOVIC.