UN Arms Inspector: Iraq still not Cooperating

Published June 3rd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Iraq is not cooperating with the UN commission charged with inspecting its weapons, according to a report from the chief UN arms inspector, quoted by CNN.com Friday.  

Hans Blix, in his first quarterly report to the UN Security Council, was reported as saying Iraq has not notified his UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) of any "dual use" items it has imported -- goods that could be used either for peaceful purposes or to produce weapons. Security Council resolutions require Iraq to notify the commission of such items.  

Secretary-General Kofi Annan submitted the report to the Security Council on Friday, praising the commission's work but saying the panel needs Iraq's cooperation to do its job.  

The report said UNMOVIC continues to receive notifications from governments and international organizations of exports to Iraq of dual-use goods, the report said. But despite its obligations under Security Council resolutions, it said Iraq has not provided UNMOVIC with any information about such items. 

"UNMOVIC has made a good start under the leadership of its very capable and experienced new executive chairman," Annan wrote in a note that accompanied the report.  

The five-page document is a brief status report on the workings of UNMOVIC since it was formally established March 1.  

Blix informed the council that he is interviewing potential staff members for his organization and that he intends to first employ a core staff in New York before expanding.  

CNN quoted the UN official as saying a training program has been set up to create a pool of qualified field inspectors for UNMOVIC with a curriculum that includes "political issues related to weapons inspections and monitoring activities in Iraq, as well as the historical and cultural background of Iraq."  

Blix is a former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.  

There have been no UN inspections in Iraq since December 1998 when joint US-British air strikes were launched after Baghdad refused to permit inspections by the United Nations, said CNN – Albawaba.com  


© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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