The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] UN Arms Inspectors Preparing to Go to Iraq

UNMOVIC chief reports to Security Council

By Judy Aita
Washington File United Nations Correspondent

United Nations  The chief UN weapons inspector officially briefed the Security Council September 
19 on preparations under way to begin inspections in Iraq, where, he said, "there will be no 

Hans Blix, chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) said 
that he wants "to get off to a flying start" with inspections as soon as possible. He said that his 
upcoming meeting in Vienna with Iraqi officials the week of September 30 will be to go over the 
details of what is needed to conduct inspections but "we are not giving any discounts on Security 
Council resolutions."

Talking with journalists after his almost two-hour private meeting with the Security Council, Blix 
said that the practical arrangements to be discussed include "how do we get there, how do we land, 
what is our cooperation with the national directorate, accommodations, security of inspectors, 
flight path of helicopters, communications, transportation, jeeps."

"There are quite a few such things that need to be settled. Since we want to have successful 
inspections and we want to avoid any clashes, differences, and conflict with Iraq, we think it 
would be best to talk to them about what our rights are, explain to them so they know what they can 
expect," he said. "We are not uncertain about what the resolutions say...but we do need to explain.

"We are the servants of the Security Council and we are basing ourselves on Resolution 1284 and 
preceding resolutions beginning in 1991 with Resolution 687, etc. We know all this. We are not in 
doubt about what needs to be done," the UNMOVIC chief said.

After the Vienna meeting, the first step for UNMOVIC will be to send administrative staff into 
Baghdad to check the condition of the UN offices that were vacated almost four years ago and to 
reopen laboratories, replace computers if necessary, and basically get the infrastructure in place 
before the weapons inspectors arrive.

Blix noted that the inspectors come from 45 difference countries and are in their homelands, so 
preparations have to be made to get them to Iraq. Nevertheless, he stressed, the inspectors will be 
UN employees and will not be paid by their governments.

Blix said that he has some sites he wants the inspectors to look at immediately, but he has not 
discussed the sites with Iraqi officials.

Blix said he will demand full, unfettered access to any site for his inspectors.

Presidential sites will not be spared by UNMOVIC, he said. "There is a special procedure laid down 
(for presidential sites) and I told (the Iraqis) that I will make use of such a right."

"We are not giving any immunities. In our view, there are no sanctuaries in Iraq," he said.

UNMOVIC will welcome any intelligence information from other governments on potential weapons 
sites, the chairman said. Nevertheless, "intelligence, in our view, is a one-way traffic. If member 
governments want us to try to find anything hidden, well, give us information. But we are not 
supposed to give information back."

"Some may not like that, but I think integrity is more important than information," Blix said.

Once UNMOVIC is fully operational in Iraq, it will have 60 days to draw up a program of work and 
report back to the Security Council. In the past Blix has said that after that point, with 
Baghdad's cooperation, he expects to have the disarmament of Iraq completed in a year.

Secretary General Kofi Annan met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri September 18 and stressed 
"the need to provide full and unconditional cooperation to the UN inspectors and reaffirmed his 
confidence in Blix's professionalism and impartiality," UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

Eckhard said that the United Nations does not see the upcoming meeting in Vienna as negotiations 
with the Iraqis, but "discussions on practical arrangements on the understanding that there are no 

- - - -
Forgiveness breaks the chain of causality because he who forgives you -- out of love--takes upon 
himself the consequences of what you have done. Forgiveness, therefore, always entails a sacrifice.

Sign-up for your own FREE Personalized E-mail at

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]