News

USIS Washington 
File

28 April 1998

[EXCERPTS] UNITED NATIONS REPORT, TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 1998


"A WORLD OF NEWS FROM THE WORLD ORGANIZATION"
Daily Highlights
Monday, 27 April, 1998

This daily news round-up is prepared by the Central News Section of
the Office of Communications and of Public Information at the United
Nations.

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-- UNSCOM reports verification is key to determining Iraq's
disarmament claims.


-- Atomic Energy Agency reports no indications of prohibited
equipment, materials or activities in Iraq.

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UNSCOM REPORTS VERIFICATION IS KEY TO DETERMINING IRAQ'S DISARMAMENT
CLAIMS.


The head of the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM), says Iraq's heightened
policy of disarmament by declaration, no matter how vigorously pursued
or stridently voiced, could not remove the need for verification as
the key means through which the credibility of its claim can be
established.


UNSCOM is responsible for determining whether Iraq has dismantled its
weapons of mass destruction. In his latest report to the Security
Council, UNSCOM Executive Director, Richard Butler, says a major
consequence of the recent crisis authored by Iraq has been that, in
contrast with the prior reporting period, "virtually no progress in
verifying disarmament has been able to be reported". According to the
report, the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Iraq in February,
contains a clear promise of compliance with Security Council
resolutions and decisions and full cooperation with UNSCOM. If Iraq
offered full and real cooperation, the report states, it would not
find UNSCOM lacking in its willingness or ability to verify honestly,
with a high degree of scientific and technical competence and with all
possible dispatch, materials that would validate Iraq's claim and lead
to a full accounting in all weapons areas.


A UN spokesman said on Monday that the UNSCOM report covered a
significant amount of time before the Secretary-General's February
mission to Baghdad. In the Memorandum, he said, Iraq committed itself
to allow UNSCOM unfettered access. Since then, during inspections of
presidential sites, Iraq had "made good on that pledge". The
Secretary- General was pleased at the implementation of the Memorandum
and was hopeful it would continue, he added.


The Spokesman said Iraq's detailed response to UNSCOM's biennial
report contains several annexes on the Iraqi accounting of the
activities of the UN inspection teams and monitoring groups, the
technical evaluation meetings and a list of weapons, materials and
destroyed equipment from 1991 to 1997.


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ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY REPORTS NO INDICATIONS OF PROHIBITED EQUIPMENT,
MATERIALS OR ACTIVITIES IN IRAQ.


The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that, during its
ongoing monitoring and verification work, it has found no indications
of prohibited equipment, materials or activities in Iraq.


According to the latest IAEA report to the Security Council, Iraq
satisfactorily produced a consolidated version of its full, final and
complete declaration of its clandestine nuclear programme. Iraq also
fulfilled its obligations to produce a document containing a summary
of the technical achievement of its clandestine nuclear programme.


The report states that Iraq's declarations contained expanded
information on certain sites involved in the production of materials,
equipment and components, as well as design, research and development
work. The declarations also included more complete information on
Iraq's isotope holdings. However, the report notes, information was
not provided on a number of sites and, in general, there was a
continuing need for improvement in the consistency and accuracy of the
data.


The report states that Iraq's declaration of nuclear material
transactions and inventories covering 1 January 1989 to 31 December
1991 were reviewed in detail to further clarify nuclear material flows
and inventories at the principal locations at which nuclear material
was used or stored. The Iraqi counterpart had provided revised data
that appeared to take into account many of the requested
classifications, the report observes, adding that the data was
currently under detailed review. The IAEA report says most inspections
were done without prior announcement, and a number were also conducted
in cooperation with UNSCOM monitoring groups. No indication of
prohibited materials, equipment or activities was detected during
those inspections.


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