TEXT - AS DELIVERED
The governing Security Council
The resolution adopted by the
Security Council on Iraq in November last year asks UNMOVIC and
the IAEA to "update" the Council 60 days after the
resumption of inspections. This is today. The updating, it seems,
forms part of an assessment by the Council and its Members of the
results, so far, of the inspections and of their role as a means
to achieve verifiable disarmament in Iraq.
As this is an open meeting of the
Council, it may be appropriate briefly to provide some background
for a better understanding of where we stand today.
With your permission, I shall do so.
I begin by recalling that
inspections as a part of a disarmament process in Iraq started in
1991, immediately after the Gulf War. They went on for eight years
until December 1998, when inspectors were withdrawn. Thereafter,
for nearly four years there were no inspections. They were resumed
only at the end of November last year.
While the fundamental aim of
inspections in Iraq has always been to verify disarmament, the
successive resolutions adopted by the Council over the years have
varied somewhat in emphasis and approach.
In 1991, resolution 687 (1991),
adopted unanimously as a part of the cease-fire after the Gulf
War, had five major elements. The three first related to
disarmament. They called for :
declarations by Iraq of its
programmes of weapons of mass destruction and long range
verification of the
declarations through UNSCOM and the IAEA;
supervision by these
organizations of the destruction or the elimination of
proscribed programmes and items.
After the completion of the
Resolution 687 (1991), like the
subsequent resolutions I shall refer to, required cooperation by
Iraq but such was often withheld or given grudgingly. Unlike South
Africa, which decided on its own to eliminate its nuclear weapons
and welcomed inspection as a means of creating confidence in its
disarmament, Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance
- not even today - of the disarmament, which was demanded of it
and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world
and to live in peace.
As we know, the twin operation
'declare and verify', which was prescribed in resolution 687
(1991), too often turned into a game of 'hide and seek'. Rather
than just verifying declarations and supporting evidence, the two
inspecting organizations found themselves engaged in efforts to
map the weapons programmes and to search for evidence through
inspections, interviews, seminars, inquiries with suppliers and
intelligence organizations. As a result, the disarmament phase was
not completed in the short time expected. Sanctions remained and
took a severe toll until Iraq accepted the Oil for Food Programme
and the gradual development of that programme mitigated the
effects of the sanctions.
The implementation of resolution
687 (1991) nevertheless brought about considerable disarmament
results. It has been recognized that more weapons of mass
destruction were destroyed under this resolution than were
destroyed during the Gulf War: large quantities of chemical
weapons were destroyed under UNSCOM supervision before 1994. While
Iraq claims - with little evidence - that it destroyed all
biological weapons unilaterally in 1991, it is certain that UNSCOM
destroyed large biological weapons production facilities in 1996.
The large nuclear infrastructure was destroyed and the fissionable
material was removed from Iraq by the IAEA.
One of three important questions
before us today is how much might remain undeclared and intact
from before 1991; and, possibly, thereafter; the second question
is what, if anything, was illegally produced or procured after
1998, when the inspectors left; and the third question is how it
can be prevented that any weapons of mass destruction be produced
or procured in the future.
In December 1999 - after one year
without inspections in Iraq - resolution 1284 (1999) was adopted
by the Council with 4 abstentions. Supplementing the basic
resolutions of 1991 and following years, it provided Iraq with a
somewhat less ambitious approach: in return for "cooperation
in all respects" for a specified period of time, including
progress in the resolution of "key remaining disarmament
tasks", it opened the possibility, not for the lifting, but
the suspension of sanctions.
For nearly three years, Iraq
refused to accept any inspections by UNMOVIC. It was only after
appeals by the Secretary-General and Arab States and pressure by
the United States and other Member States, that Iraq declared on
16 September last year that it would again accept inspections
Resolution 1441 (2002) was adopted
on 8 November last year and emphatically reaffirmed the demand on
Iraq to cooperate. It required this cooperation to be immediate,
unconditional and active. The resolution contained many
provisions, which we welcome as enhancing and strengthening the
inspection regime. The unanimity by which it was adopted sent a
powerful signal that the Council was of one mind in creating a
last opportunity for peaceful disarmament in Iraq through
UNMOVIC shares the sense of
urgency felt by the Council to use inspection as a path to attain,
within a reasonable time, verifiable disarmament of Iraq. Under
the resolutions I have cited, it would be followed by monitoring
for such time as the Council feels would be required. The
resolutions also point to a zone free of weapons of mass
destruction as the ultimate goal.
As a subsidiary body of the
Council, UNMOVIC is fully aware of and appreciates the close
attention, which the Council devotes to the inspections in Iraq.
While today's "updating" is foreseen in resolution 1441
(2002), the Council can and does call for additional briefings
whenever it wishes. One was held on 19 January and a further such
briefing is tentatively set for 14 February.
I turn now to the key requirement
of cooperation and Iraq's response to it. Cooperation might be
said to relate to both substance and process. It would appear from
our experience so far that Iraq has decided in principle to
provide cooperation on process, notably access. A similar decision
is indispensable to provide cooperation on substance in order to
bring the disarmament task to completion through the peaceful
process of inspection and to bring the monitoring task on a firm
course. An initial minor step would be to adopt the long-overdue
legislation required by the resolutions.
I shall deal first with
cooperation on process.
Cooperation on process
It has regard to the procedures,
mechanisms, infrastructure and practical arrangements to pursue
inspections and seek verifiable disarmament. While inspection is
not built on the premise of confidence but may lead to confidence
if it is successful, there must nevertheless be a measure of
mutual confidence from the very beginning in running the operation
Iraq has on the whole cooperated
rather well so far with UNMOVIC in this field. The most important
point to make is that access has been provided to all sites we
have wanted to inspect and with one exception it has been prompt.
We have further had great help in building up the infrastructure
of our office in Baghdad and the field office in Mosul.
Arrangements and services for our plane and our helicopters have
been good. The environment has been workable.
Our inspections have included
universities, military bases, presidential sites and private
residences. Inspections have also taken place on Fridays, the
Muslim day of rest, on Christmas day and New Years day. These
inspections have been conducted in the same manner as all other
inspections. We seek to be both effective and correct.
In this updating I am bound, however, to register some problems.
Firstly, relating to two kinds of air operations.
While we now have the technical
capability to send a U-2 plane placed at our disposal for aerial
imagery and for surveillance during inspections and have informed
Iraq that we planned to do so, Iraq has refused to guarantee its
safety, unless a number of conditions are fulfilled. As these
conditions went beyond what is stipulated in resolution 1441
(2002) and what was practiced by UNSCOM and Iraq in the past, we
note that Iraq is not so far complying with our request. I hope
this attitude will change.
Another air operation problem -
which was solved during our recent talks in Baghdad - concerned
the use of helicopters flying into the no-fly zones. Iraq had
insisted on sending helicopters of their own to accompany ours.
This would have raised a safety problem. The matter was solved by
an offer on our part to take the accompanying Iraq minders in our
helicopters to the sites, an arrangement that had been practiced
by UNSCOM in the past.
I am obliged to note some recent
disturbing incidents and harassment. For instance, for some time
farfetched allegations have been made publicly that questions
posed by inspectors were of intelligence character. While I might
not defend every question that inspectors might have asked, Iraq
knows that they do not serve intelligence purposes and Iraq should
not say so.
On a number of occasions,
demonstrations have taken place in front of our offices and at
The other day, a sightseeing
excursion by five inspectors to a mosque was followed by an
unwarranted public outburst. The inspectors went without any UN
insignia and were welcomed in the kind manner that is
characteristic of the normal Iraqi attitude to foreigners. They
took off their shoes and were taken around. They asked perfectly
innocent questions and parted with the invitation to come again.
Shortly thereafter, we receive
protests from the Iraqi authorities about an unannounced
inspection and about questions not relevant to weapons of mass
destruction. Indeed, they were not. Demonstrations and outbursts
of this kind are unlikely to occur in Iraq without initiative or
encouragement from the authorities. We must ask ourselves what the
motives may be for these events. They do not facilitate an already
difficult job, in which we try to be effective, professional and,
at the same time, correct. Where our Iraqi counterparts have some
complaint they can take it up in a calmer and less unpleasant
Cooperation on substance
The substantive cooperation
required relates above all to the obligation of Iraq to declare
all programmes of weapons of mass destruction and either to
present items and activities for elimination or else to provide
evidence supporting the conclusion that nothing proscribed
Paragraph 9 of resolution 1441
(2002) states that this cooperation shall be "active".
It is not enough to open doors. Inspection is not a game of
"catch as catch can". Rather, as I noted, it is a
process of verification for the purpose of creating confidence. It
is not built upon the premise of trust. Rather, it is designed to
lead to trust, if there is both openness to the inspectors and
action to present them with items to destroy or credible evidence
about the absence of any such items.
The declaration of 7 December
On 7 December 2002, Iraq submitted
a declaration of some 12,000 pages in response to paragraph 3 of
resolution 1441 (2002) and within the time stipulated by the
Security Council. In the fields of missiles and biotechnology, the
declaration contains a good deal of new material and information
covering the period from 1998 and onward. This is welcome.
One might have expected that in
preparing the Declaration, Iraq would have tried to respond to,
clarify and submit supporting evidence regarding the many open
disarmament issues, which the Iraqi side should be familiar with
from the UNSCOM document S/1999/94 of January1999 and the
so-called Amorim Report of March 1999 (S/1999/356). These are
questions which UNMOVIC, governments and independent commentators
have often cited.
While UNMOVIC has been preparing
its own list of current "unresolved disarmament issues"
and "key remaining disarmament tasks" in response to
requirements in resolution 1284 (1999), we find the issues listed
in the two reports as unresolved, professionally justified. These
reports do not contend that weapons of mass destruction remain in
Iraq, but nor do they exclude that possibility. They point to lack
of evidence and inconsistencies, which raise question marks, which
must be straightened out, if weapons dossiers are to be closed and
confidence is to arise.
They deserve to be taken seriously
by Iraq rather than being brushed aside as evil machinations of
UNSCOM. Regrettably, the 12,000 page declaration, most of which is
a reprint of earlier documents, does not seem to contain any new
evidence that would eliminate the questions or reduce their
number. Even Iraq's letter sent in response to our recent
discussions in Baghdad to the President of the Security Council on
24 January does not lead us to the resolution of these issues.
I shall only give some examples of
issues and questions that need to be answered and I turn first to
the sector of chemical weapons.
The nerve agent VX is one of the
most toxic ever developed.
Iraq has declared that it only
produced VX on a pilot scale, just a few tonnes and that the
quality was poor and the product unstable. Consequently, it was
said, that the agent was never weaponised. Iraq said that the
small quantity of agent remaining after the Gulf War was
unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991.
UNMOVIC, however, has information
that conflicts with this account. There are indications that Iraq
had worked on the problem of purity and stabilization and that
more had been achieved than has been declared. Indeed, even one of
the documents provided by Iraq indicates that the purity of the
agent, at least in laboratory production, was higher than
There are also indications that
the agent was weaponised. In addition, there are questions to be
answered concerning the fate of the VX precursor chemicals, which
Iraq states were lost during bombing in the Gulf War or were
unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.
I would now like to turn to the
so-called "Air Force document" that I have discussed
with the Council before. This document was originally found by an
UNSCOM inspector in a safe in Iraqi Air Force Headquarters in 1998
and taken from her by Iraqi minders. It gives an account of the
expenditure of bombs, including chemical bombs, by Iraq in the
Iraq-Iran War. I am encouraged by the fact that Iraq has now
provided this document to UNMOVIC.
The document indicates that 13,000 chemical bombs were dropped by
the Iraqi Air Force between 1983 and 1988, while Iraq has declared
that 19,500 bombs were consumed during this period. Thus, there is
a discrepancy of 6,500 bombs. The amount of chemical agent in
these bombs would be in the order of about 1,000 tonnes. In the
absence of evidence to the contrary, we must assume that these
quantities are now unaccounted for.
The discovery of a number of 122
mm chemical rocket warheads in a bunker at a storage depot 170 km
southwest of Baghdad was much publicized. This was a relatively
new bunker and therefore the rockets must have been moved there in
the past few years, at a time when Iraq should not have had such
The investigation of these rockets
is still proceeding. Iraq states that they were overlooked from
1991 from a batch of some 2,000 that were stored there during the
Gulf War. This could be the case. They could also be the tip of a
submerged iceberg. The discovery of a few rockets does not resolve
but rather points to the issue of several thousands of chemical
rockets that are unaccounted for.
The finding of the rockets shows
that Iraq needs to make more effort to ensure that its declaration
is currently accurate. During my recent discussions in Baghdad,
Iraq declared that it would make new efforts in this regard and
had set up a committee of investigation. Since then it has
reported that it has found a further 4 chemical rockets at a
storage depot in Al Taji.
I might further mention that
inspectors have found at another site a laboratory quantity of
thiodiglycol, a mustard gas precursor.
Whilst I am addressing chemical
issues, I should mention a matter, which I reported on 19 December
2002, concerning equipment at a civilian chemical plant at Al
Fallujah. Iraq has declared that it had repaired chemical
processing equipment previously destroyed under UNSCOM
supervision, and had installed it at Fallujah for the production
of chlorine and phenols. We have inspected this equipment and are
conducting a detailed technical evaluation of it. On completion,
we will decide whether this and other equipment that has been
recovered by Iraq should be destroyed.
I have mentioned the issue of
anthrax to the Council on previous occasions and I come back to it
as it is an important one.
Iraq has declared that it produced
about 8,500 litres of this biological warfare agent, which it
states it unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991. Iraq has
provided little evidence for this production and no convincing
evidence for its destruction.
There are strong indications that
Iraq produced more anthrax than it declared, and that at least
some of this was retained after the declared destruction date. It
might still exist. Either it should be found and be destroyed
under UNMOVIC supervision or else convincing evidence should be
produced to show that it was, indeed, destroyed in 1991.
As I reported to the Council on 19
December last year, Iraq did not declare a significant quantity,
some 650 kg, of bacterial growth media, which was acknowledged as
imported in Iraq's submission to the Amorim panel in February
1999. As part of its 7 December 2002 declaration, Iraq resubmitted
the Amorim panel document, but the table showing this particular
import of media was not included. The absence of this table would
appear to be deliberate as the pages of the resubmitted document
In the letter of 24 January to the
President of the Council, Iraq's Foreign Minister stated that
"all imported quantities of growth media were declared".
This is not evidence. I note that the quantity of media involved
would suffice to produce, for example, about 5,000 litres of
I turn now to the missile sector.
There remain significant questions as to whether Iraq retained
SCUD-type missiles after the Gulf War. Iraq declared the
consumption of a number of SCUD missiles as targets in the
development of an anti-ballistic missile defence system during the
1980s. Yet no technical information has been produced about that
programme or data on the consumption of the missiles.
There has been a range of
developments in the missile field during the past four years
presented by Iraq as non-proscribed activities. We are trying to
gather a clear understanding of them through inspections and
Two projects in particular stand
out. They are the development of a liquid-fuelled missile named
the Al Samoud 2, and a solid propellant missile, called the Al
Fatah. Both missiles have been tested to a range in excess of the
permitted range of 150 km, with the Al Samoud 2 being tested to a
maximum of 183 km and the Al Fatah to 161 km. Some of both types
of missiles have already been provided to the Iraqi Armed Forces
even though it is stated that they are still undergoing
The Al Samoud's diameter was
increased from an earlier version to the present 760 mm. This
modification was made despite a 1994 letter from the Executive
Chairman of UNSCOM directing Iraq to limit its missile diameters
to less than 600 mm. Furthermore, a November 1997 letter from the
Executive Chairman of UNSCOM to Iraq prohibited the use of engines
from certain surface-to-air missiles for the use in ballistic
During my recent meeting in
Baghdad, we were briefed on these two programmes. We were told
that the final range for both systems would be less than the
permitted maximum range of 150 km.
These missiles might well
represent prima facie cases of proscribed systems. The test ranges
in excess of 150 km are significant, but some further technical
considerations need to be made, before we reach a conclusion on
this issue. In the mean time, we have asked Iraq to cease flight
tests of both missiles.
In addition, Iraq has refurbished
its missile production infrastructure. In particular, Iraq
reconstituted a number of casting chambers, which had previously
been destroyed under UNSCOM supervision. They had been used in the
production of solid-fuel missiles. Whatever missile system these
chambers are intended for, they could produce motors for missiles
capable of ranges significantly greater than 150 km.
Also associated with these
missiles and related developments is the import, which has been
taking place during the last few years, of a number of items
despite the sanctions, including as late as December 2002.
Foremost amongst these is the import of 380 rocket engines which
may be used for the Al Samoud 2.
Iraq also declared the recent
import of chemicals used in propellants, test instrumentation and,
guidance and control systems. These items may well be for
proscribed purposes. That is yet to be determined. What is clear
is that they were illegally brought into Iraq, that is, Iraq or
some company in Iraq, circumvented the restrictions imposed by
I have touched upon some of the
disarmament issues that remain open and that need to be answered
if dossiers are to be closed and confidence is to arise. Which are
the means at the disposal of Iraq to answer these questions? I
have pointed to some during my presentation of the issues. Let me
be a little more systematic. Our Iraqi counterparts are fond of
saying that there are no proscribed items and if no evidence is
presented to the contrary they should have the benefit of the
doubt, be presumed innocent. UNMOVIC, for its part, is not
presuming that there are proscribed items and activities in Iraq,
but nor is it - or I think anyone else after the inspections
between 1991 and 1998 - presuming the opposite, that no such items
and activities exist in Iraq. Presumptions do not solve the
problem. Evidence and full transparency may help. Let me be
Find the items and activities
Information provided by Member
States tells us about the movement and concealment of missiles and
chemical weapons and mobile units for biological weapons
production. We shall certainly follow up any credible leads given
to us and report what we might find as well as any denial of
So far we have reported on the
recent find of a small number of empty 122 mm warheads for
chemical weapons. Iraq declared that it appointed a commission of
inquiry to look for more. Fine. Why not extend the search to other
items? Declare what may be found and destroy it under our
When we have urged our Iraqi
counterparts to present more evidence, we have all too often met
the response that there are no more documents. All existing
relevant documents have been presented, we are told. All documents
relating to the biological weapons programme were destroyed
together with the weapons.
However, Iraq has all the archives
of the Government and its various departments, institutions and
mechanisms. It should have budgetary documents, requests for funds
and reports on how they have been used. It should also have
letters of credit and bills of lading, reports on production and
losses of material.
In response to a recent UNMOVIC
request for a number of specific documents, the only new documents
Iraq provided was a ledger of 193 pages which Iraq stated included
all imports from 1983 to 1990 by the Technical and Scientific
Importation Division, the importing authority for the biological
weapons programme. Potentially, it might help to clear some open
The recent inspection find in the
private home of a scientist of a box of some 3,000 pages of
documents, much of it relating to the laser enrichment of uranium
support a concern that has long existed that documents might be
distributed to the homes of private individuals. This
interpretation is refuted by the Iraqi side, which claims that
research staff sometimes may bring home papers from their work
places. On our side, we cannot help but think that the case might
not be isolated and that such placements of documents is
deliberate to make discovery difficult and to seek to shield
documents by placing them in private homes.
Any further sign of the
concealment of documents would be serious. The Iraqi side
committed itself at our recent talks to encourage persons to
accept access also to private sites. There can be no sanctuaries
for proscribed items, activities or documents. A denial of prompt
access to any site would be a very serious matter.
Find persons to give credible
information: a list of personnel
When Iraq claims that tangible
evidence in the form of documents is not available, it ought at
least to find individuals, engineers, scientists and managers to
testify about their experience. Large weapons programmes are moved
and managed by people. Interviews with individuals who may have
worked in programmes in the past may fill blank spots in our
knowledge and understanding. It could also be useful to learn that
they are now employed in peaceful sectors. These were the reasons
why UNMOVIC asked for a list of such persons, in accordance with
Some 400 names for all biological
and chemical weapons programmes as well as their missile
programmes were provided by the Iraqi side. This can be compared
to over 3,500 names of people associated with those past weapons
programmes that UNSCOM either interviewed in the 1990s or knew
from documents and other sources. At my recent meeting in Baghdad,
the Iraqi side committed itself to supplementing the list and some
80 additional names have been provided.
Allow information through
In the past, much valuable
information came from interviews. There were also cases in which
the interviewee was clearly intimidated by the presence of and
interruption by Iraqi officials. This was the background of
resolution 1441's provision for a right for UNMOVIC and the IAEA
to hold private interviews "in the mode or location" of
our choice, in Baghdad or even abroad.
To date, 11 individuals were asked
for interviews in Baghdad by us. The replies have invariably been
that the individual will only speak at Iraq's monitoring
directorate or, at any rate, in the presence of an Iraqi official.
This could be due to a wish on the part of the invited to have
evidence that they have not said anything that the authorities did
not wish them to say. At our recent talks in Baghdad, the Iraqi
side committed itself to encourage persons to accept interviews
"in private", that is to say alone with us. Despite
this, the pattern has not changed. However, we hope that with
further encouragement from the authorities, knowledgeable
individuals will accept private interviews, in Baghdad or abroad.
Mr President, I must not conclude this "update" without
some notes on the growing capability of UNMOVIC.
In the past two months, UNMOVIC
has built-up its capabilities in Iraq from nothing to 260 staff
members from 60 countries. This includes approximately 100 UNMOVIC
inspectors, 60 air operations staff, as well as security
personnel, communications, translation and interpretation staff,
medical support, and other services at our Baghdad office and
Mosul field office. All serve the United Nations and report to no
one else. Furthermore, our roster of inspectors will continue to
grow as our training programme continues - even at this moment we
have a training course in session in Vienna. At the end of that
course, we shall have a roster of about 350 qualified experts from
which to draw inspectors.
A team supplied by the Swiss
Government is refurbishing our offices in Baghdad, which had been
empty for four years. The Government of New Zealand has
contributed both a medical team and a communications team. The
German Government will contribute unmanned aerial vehicles for
surveillance and a group of specialists to operate them for us
within Iraq. The Government of Cyprus has kindly allowed us to set
up a Field Office in Larnaca. All these contributions have been of
assistance in quickly starting up our inspections and enhancing
our capabilities. So has help from the UN in New York and from
sister organizations in Baghdad.
In the past two months during
which we have built-up our presence in Iraq, we have conducted
about 300 inspections to more than 230 different sites. Of these,
more than 20 were sites that had not been inspected before. By the
end of December, UNMOVIC began using helicopters both for the
transport of inspectors and for actual inspection work. We now
have eight helicopters. They have already proved invaluable in
helping to "freeze" large sites by observing the
movement of traffic in and around the area.
Setting up a field office in Mosul
has facilitated rapid inspections of sites in northern Iraq. We
plan to establish soon a second field office in the Basra area,
where we have already inspected a number of sites.
We have now an inspection
apparatus that permits us to send multiple inspection teams every
day all over Iraq, by road or by air. Let me end by simply noting
that that capability which has been built-up in a short time and
which is now operating, is at the disposal of the Security