UNSCOM - Report to the Security Council - 25 January 1999

ANNEX B

THE CHEMICAL MONITORING SYSTEM

INTRODUCTION

1. The Plan for OMV addresses ongoing monitoring and verification of Iraq's compliance with its unconditional obligation not to use, retain, possess, develop, construct or otherwise acquire any chemical weapons (CW) or any stocks of chemical warfare agents or any related subsystems or components or any research, development, support or manufacturing facilities.

2. The General objectives for monitoring in the chemical area is to monitor and to verify that activities, sites, facilities, materials and other items, both military and civilian, are not used by Iraq in contravention of its obligations. The system of chemical monitoring was established in Iraq in October 1994.

3. The Goal of the current monitoring system is to monitor dual-capable activities, sites, facilities and materials that have legitimate uses for non-prohibited purposes and have never been used for CW purposes, but which due to their nature could be used for the development, production or acquisition of chemical weapons. To this end, the verification of Iraq's compliance with its obligations not to retain stocks of chemical weapons, their subsystems and components and CW research, development, support and manufacturing facilities has been pursued by the Commission separately in the course of the verification of Iraq's CW programme under paragraphs 8 and 9 of Security Council resolutions 687 (1991) and 707 (1991).

4. The monitoring system is focussed on the verification of:

CONCEPT AND STRUCTURE OF CHEMICAL MONITORING

5. The Concept of chemical monitoring is is based on:

6. Full knowledge of Iraq's CW programme is required for the most effective implementation of the Plan for OMV. This is important to evaluate the level of technical developments achieved by Iraq in the area of research and production of CW, including stability, storage and shelf-life of CW agents, synthetic routes used for their industrial production, equipment and materials used for the production of CW agents and types of munitions filled with these agents. Such knowledge would allow the Commission to assess the complete infrastructure of CW-related activities.

7. Information on the facilities that have been involved at one time in research and development activities and in providing support to the CW programme is of particular importance. While production facilities can be identified independently on the basis of their special features, R&D facilities can only be determined on the basis of Iraq's full disclosure of its CW programme.

8. Chemical monitoring is also enhanced by the export/import monitoring mechanism. The export/import monitoring mechanism covers Iraq's procurement/imports of declarable items. The chemical monitoring system is responsible for the verification of the further use of declarable items at the sites listed as end-users. To date these arrangements work satisfactorily.

Iraq's declarations under the Plan for OMV

9. According to the requirements of the Plan, Iraq shall provide semi-annual declarations detailing: the types, quantities and location of chemicals that could be used for the development, production or acquisition of chemical weapons, but which also have significant uses for non-prohibited purposes, as well as chemicals which have little or no use except CW purposes. Iraq shall also declare sites and facilities that are involved in the production, processing, consumption, storage, import or export of any such chemicals. In addition, Iraq's declarations should comprise any acquisition of equipment and technologies capable for the production and processing of listed chemicals. Lists of declarable items of equipment and chemicals are included in the annexes to the Plan. These lists are broader than the lists in the Convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons, given the fact that they are based on the Commission's knowledge of Iraq's specific actions to develop and produce chemical weapons.

10. Iraq's declarations required under the Plan for OMV have been significantly improved over the period of the last four years. However, they are still not accurate and complete. For example, the Commission has repeatedly found declarable items of equipment and chemicals not included in Iraq's declarations. Each such case is subject to investigation. Under the Plan, the Commission has the right to destroy undeclared items of dual-use equipment and materials. In September 1997, 197 pieces of glass chemical production equipment, originating from the former CW production facility, were destroyed as determined by the Commission.

Baseline process

11. To evaluate special features of sites, facilities, items, materials and activities to be monitored and their potential capability for proscribed use, the Commission conducts baseline inspections in Iraq. These inspections are conducted with non-resident teams of international experts. The process is aimed at developing base line inspection protocols. The protocols outline recommended inspection procedures, including the types and sequence of inspections and the required verification techniques for each facility, depending on its specific parameters and capabilities. An essential part of the protocols is the assessment of the dual-use capability of the facility. The Commission updates these protocols on a regular basis, depending on changes in site configurations and equipment.

Listed monitoring sites

12. As a result of the evaluation of Iraq's declarations, some 166 sites and facilities are included in the list of chemical monitoring sites. These comprise some 120 sites and facilities declared by Iraq and an additional 46 sites and facilities designated by the Commission.

13. The 120 declared sites and facilities include some 100 main facilities declared by Iraq with respect to declarable items and materials. These cover chemical and petrochemical facilities, including production/ formulation/ storage of pesticides and herbicides, production of mineral fertilizers, oil refineries, consumers of declarable chemicals, and the production of declarable equipment. They also cover facilities which are still under construction. Twenty of the 120 sites, are included in the list on the basis of Iraq's declarations of its prior CW activities.

14. Forty-six sites are included in the list on the basis of the Commission's designation. These comprise some 20 sites with research and development capabilities, about 16 military sites such as NBC-training schools, research centers and ammunition depots, and about 10 governmental and private companies involved in the procurement and distribution of declarable items and materials.

15. Some 40 of 166 listed chemical sites are also covered by the monitoring activities in other areas: biological, missile and nuclear. Those sites are mainly chemical complexes for the production of explosives, biochemical and pharmaceutical products, as well as the production of munitions and items of equipment of dual-use character.

16. Listed sites are spread throughout Iraq. About 20 sites and facilities are located in the South of Iraq, some 30 facilities in Iraq's North, the majority of the remaining sites are in central Iraq. Operating from the BMVC in Baghdad, the Commission is able to reach each listed site in Central Iraq within two to three hours, and in the North and in the South of Iraq within five to six hours. However, it takes an average period of two months to inspect all listed chemical sites. The absence of regional monitoring centers or bases in Northern and Southern Iraq, and the non-availability of fixed-wing aerial transportation in Iraq limit the Commission's ability to shorten the early-warning time of inspections. Thus, Iraq has effectively several hours warning of inspections in the North and the South.

CHEMICAL MONITORING RESOURCES AND TOOLS

17. The chemical monitoring system comprises the following resources and tools:

The Resident Team at the BMVC

18. On average, the Chemical team comprises 12 to 14 inspectors and technicians. This includes the chief inspector, deputy chief inspector, operations officer, inspectors, laboratory chemists, one explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) expert and one English/Arabic linguist. Normally, chemists, chemical engineers, NBC-defense officers and laboratory chemists serve with the Chemical monitoring team.

19. The Commission's requirements cover a broad spectrum of personnel. They range, for military personnel, from Lieutenant Colonel/Major to Sergeant, and, for civilians, from experienced chemists and chemical engineers to freshly graduated analytical chemists. In recruiting personnel for the Chemical monitoring team, the Commission gives preference to experts who have experience in working in Iraq. To date, all members of the resident team have been seconded by their Governments upon the Commission's request. Their regular duty tour in Iraq is three months.

20. Since October 1994, more than 50 governments have contributed personnel to the Chemical monitoring team at the BMVC. As a result, the Commission was able to recruit the most qualified and experienced personnel to serve as chief inspectors and deputy chief inspectors. These two positions require, top professional expertise and knowledge, management skills to supervise, organize and lead a group of international experts. Furthermore, it requires the ability to interact with the Iraqi counterparts.

21. The short duty tour for personnel in the Chemical monitoring team limits significantly the Commission's ability to provide a thorough training programme for newly recruited personnel. Personnel recruited only for a three months tour of duty could not be tied up with a training programme of several weeks. Moreover Currently it takes the average inspector some two months to learn "on the job" the infrastructure of Iraq's chemical activities. As a result, only towards the end of the duty tour, do the inspectors become really efficient and able to fulfill the requirements of the monitoring process.

22. The main functions of the resident monitoring team are:

Support from other resident teams

23. At present, cooperation and coordination between the various disciplines within the monitoring system is well established. For the purpose of chemical monitoring, cooperation with the export/import monitoring team and the aerial inspection team is especially important.

24. The characteristics of listed chemical sites could be changed significantly upon the arrival of declarable items and materials. After their arrival at the site, it is the responsibility of the Chemical monitoring team to certify that notifiable items have been properly delivered to the declared customer site and were consumed or used strictly in accordance with the original notification.

25. Lists of items relevant to the implementation of the monitoring and verification in the chemical area are included in Annex II of the Plan. These lists have also been used in the implementation of the mechanism for export/import monitoring under paragraph 7 of Security Council resolution 715 (1991) with respect to the sale or supply of items to Iraq by other States, covered by the Plan. This requires close interaction with the Export/Import group.

26. The aerial inspection team provides reconnaissance capabilities valuable to the resident team to support the preparation and the conduct of on-site inspections. Aerial surveillance allows the resident team to observe changes in infrastructures and configurations of listed sites in a timely way.

Headquarters

27. The Chemical team in New York is responsible for the development and implementation of the concept and system of chemical monitoring in Iraq. This includes the identification of the scope of monitoring (sites, facilities, items, materials and activities to be monitored) through the evaluation of Iraq's declarations, the results of aerial surveillance and knowledge of Iraq's CW programme. The personnel in the headquarters are also responsible for the strategy and tactics of the implementation of the chemical monitoring system. The Chemical team in New York processes all information and maintains the Commission's chemical data base. The Chemical team in New York also recruits personnel for the resident team in Iraq and experts for non- resident inspections. In addition, the team provides training for new inspectors and assures the continuous supervision of the daily activities. Furthermore, procurement and maintenance of equipment for the chemical laboratory at the BMVC, monitoring sensors, and verification equipment and materials have to be organized by the Chemical team in New York.

28. At present, the Chemical team in New York comprises three senior chemical experts, one data-base manager who is also responsible for the implementation of various administrative matters, and one data collator. In general, this composition meets the requirements of the current system.

Non-resident Teams

29. The Commission also utilizes non-resident teams of experts. Non-resident teams comprise highly qualified experts for base-lining and assessment type missions. Those teams of specialists operate in Iraq in the format of short missions. This approach also allows the Commission to apply areas of highly specialized scarce expertise, such as ground penetrating radar and special analytical instruments.

The Chemical Laboratory at the BMVC

30. The Commission has had a chemical laboratory at the BMVC since 1995. This laboratory is equipped with suitable analytical instruments (Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectroscopy, Infrared Spectroscopy etc.). Its main task is to analyze air samples taken at various sites by the Commission's automated air samplers. The character of this laboratory is designed to conduct routine analyses of chemical samples taken for verification purposes. The laboratory continues to be upgraded.

Monitoring Cameras, Sensors and other Verification Equipment

31. The Commission has 30 cameras installed at seven chemical sites. The purpose of these cameras is to detect changes in the configuration and use of selected declarable items of equipment and to increase the confidence in Iraq's activities through the use of sensors. The cameras are not designed to and cannot replace on-site inspections.

32. Sensors are always installed in combination with cameras to detect potential tampering of the sensors. The Commission operates 23 air samplers at 15 listed chemical sites which give a picture of chemical activities at the sites. Their magazines have to be exchanged every 4 weeks and be analyzed at the laboratory at the BMVC.

33. During the last two years the Commission undertook to introduce open path infrared technology as an additional tool for the chemical monitoring. This analytical method enables the Commission to establish a chemical profile (fingerprints) of various chemical facilities in Iraq through measuring their emissions. The extended routine use of this method and additional new techniques would enable the Commission to remotely detect changes in chemical activities of any facility without even entering the site. New approaches could also include e.g., physical methods for the non-destructive examination of ammunition for verification purposes and mobile beam type samplers for sites and activities to be verified. Both instrumental methods would be mounted in special vehicles and would be highly mobile.

34. The Commission also uses other verification equipment and materials. These include chemical agent detectors, protection equipment and decontamination materials. The resident team is responsible for providing chemical, biological and nuclear safety for all resident and non-resident inspection teams in Iraq. The Chemical monitoring team with its explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) specialist is also responsible for providing safe work conditions to all the Commission's activities in Iraq with respect to explosives and conventional ammunition.

ON-SITE INSPECTIONS

35. Despite increased and improved technical monitoring tools, inspections carried out by expert personnel still remain the most important element of the monitoring process. The critical issue for effective chemical monitoring is unrestricted and timely access to any site or facility in Iraq.

36. In comparison with the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Commission under the Plan for OMV, has far stricter inspection procedures and rights. Under the Plan the Commission has the right to access to any site or facility with notification provided at a time it considers appropriate, depending on the nature of the inspection site and reasoning for inspection. It has the right to establish special modes for monitoring and verification, including the use of instruments. In the course of the on-site inspection, the Commission has the right to request, copy and examine any information and documentation, to photograph and videotape any items, to conduct interviews with any personnel, to install verification equipment, to take samples for analysis, to tag materials and equipment.

37. Within the scope of the chemical monitoring, the Commission conducts the following types of inspections:

38. Listed chemical sites in Iraq with dual-use equipment that produce, possess or consume declarable chemicals cannot be used for the production of chemical warfare agents without additional modifications due to their parameters and current configuration of chemical production equipment. However, several such facilities currently do have capabilities to produce precursor chemicals.

39. Iraq also has legitimate industrial facilities which are capable of producing munitions and devices suitable for chemical fill, as well as their components and subsystems, including appropriate fuses and boosters for munitions.

40. The goal of on-site inspections of listed sites is to monitor and verify that these dual-use activities, sites, facilities and items are not used for proscribed purposes and that the infrastructures of these sites are not modified or exceed their legitimate requirements.

41. To achieve this goal within the scope of its rights to establish special modalities for monitoring and verification, the Commission marked critical pieces of dual-use chemical production equipment with tags. There are 833 tagged pieces of equipment located at 20 listed chemical sites and facilities. According to the established procedure, Iraq shall notify the Commission 30 days in advance of the movement of tagged and declarable equipment and chemicals and on their future use. The Commission reviews such proposals for approval.

42. The Chemical team in the Commission's headquarters in New York is responsible for the evaluation and assessment of Iraq's proposals to move or change equipment. The resident team at the BMVC through on-site inspections is responsible for the verification of the implementation of proposals approved by the Commission.

43. In practice, in the period of four years since the chemical monitoring began, the majority of Iraq's proposals on the movement and future use of declarable items were accepted by the Commission. On several occasions Iraq's proposals were rejected by the Commission, on the grounds that the proposed movement and use would result in the creation of infrastructure, which could be used directly for proscribed purposes without even minor modifications.

44. In several cases Iraq proceed with unauthorized movement of dual-use items. All unauthorized activities with dual-use items were stopped by the Commission, when detected. Subsequently, the Commission investigated each such case.

45. One of the most important issues related to the conduct of on-site inspection is to ensure the safety of inspectors. In the course of baseline inspections and daily verification activities, the Commission has developed general safety rules and safety protocols for all major listed chemical facilities. As a result, the Commission has an excellent safety record in its monitoring and verification activities in Iraq.

46. One of the crucial parts of the current chemical monitoring system is Iraq's cooperation with the Commission. In statistical terms, the majority of the chemical inspections have been carried out with acceptable Iraqi cooperation.

ASSESSMENT OF THE CURRENT SYSTEM

47. The Plan for OMV covers all activities, sites, facilities, materials and other items in Iraq and includes detailed inspection procedures to monitor and to verify Iraq's compliance with its obligations. It provides a solid basis for the Commission to fulfill its monitoring mandate.

48. The current system of chemical monitoring has been focussed on the implementation of only part of the Commission's mandate. It has been focussed on the verification of the remaining dual-use activities, facilities and materials that have legitimate uses for non-prohibited purposes and had never been used for CW purposes. It also covered, but only on a case by case basis, the verification of undeclared activities, and facilities.

49. The chemical monitoring system in its current configuration is able to verify Iraq's compliance with its obligations only at listed facilities declared by Iraq or designated by the Commission. The current system is also able, on a case by case basis, to detect undeclared activities carried out outside the listed sites.

50. Within the scope of the current monitoring system, it is also possible, by using all techniques and resources available to the Commission, including aerial surveillance, on-site inspections and the base-lining process, to detect the construction of new dual-capable facilities in Iraq.

51. The verification of Iraq's compliance with its obligations not to retain stocks of chemical weapons, their subsystems and components and CW research, development, support and manufacturing facilities has been pursued by the Commission separately, in the course of its disarmament activities. Accordingly, the current monitoring system has not been designed to verify unresolved issues from the past programme, including unaccounted for chemical munitions, equipment, related materials, components and documentation.

IMPROVEMENT OF THE CHEMICAL MONITORING SYSTEM

52. Further improvement is required to increase the effectiveness of the current system of chemical monitoring and to meet future necessities. Additional requirements should be considered with respect to two possible options. Firstly, that not all disarmament issues have been solved within the verification of the past CW programme. Secondly, that sanctions could be eased or lifted. Both options would require additional resources and techniques in the field of chemical monitoring.

53. The efficacy of the current chemical monitoring system could be strengthened through personnel augmentation, introduction of new and additional verification equipment and techniques, improvement of the infrastructure and support, shortened access time to the listed sites and refinements with respect to notification requirements.

Personnel

54. Experienced, qualified and knowledgeable personnel in the Commission's headquarters in New York and in the resident team at the BMVC still remain the most important element of the monitoring system. They are the load-bearing pillars of the system. Recruitment procedures for personnel, seconded by supporting governments for a period of three months, do not allow the maintenance of continuity in monitoring operations in Iraq. Both are indispensable to cover the broad spectrum of monitoring requirements.

55. The Commission must seek special arrangements with governments on the extended services of personnel for a duty period of at least six months, with the possibility that those personnel would be made available again in the future. The Commission should also be able to issue for some personnel in the resident team at the BMVC five to six fixed-term contracts, each for a period of two to three years. The same approach should be applied to personnel in the Chemical team at the Commission's headquarters in New York. The minimum duty tour for personnel in New York should be two years. Such arrangements would enable the Commission to introduce an extensive training programme for the personnel in the Chemical monitoring team and would allow the preparation of highly professional experts familiar with both, the past proscribed programme and current chemical activities.

56. The office space of the resident team at the BMVC should be at least doubled. This is required to meet current requirements, to accommodate the present analytical equipment in the chemical laboratory, to maintain the proper storage of other verification equipment and materials and to assure normal working conditions. Additional space is also necessary to store and handle the Commission's growing collection of demilitarized chemical and biological munitions at the BMVC. These munitions have been gathered by the Commission in Iraq in the course of its activities, and are available at the BMVC for demonstration and training purposes.

57. The office space currently available to the Chemical team in New York does not meet basic necessities. It is seriously inadequate in terms of both handling Iraq's declarations and other monitoring data and the accommodation of personnel, neither in terms of space nor of security.

Equipment

58. Chemical analytical capabilities at the BMVC could be improved, by introducing faster and simpler screening processes. The equipment should be enhanced to identify additional chemicals. Environmental sampling, and mobile analytical capabilities should also be expanded to be used in the course of on-site inspection.

59. To date, supporting governments have provided all analytical instruments and other verification equipment and materials on a no-cost basis. One Government also shouldered responsibility for the complete maintenance, spare parts and repair of the laboratory equipment. The Commission should be able to allocate in its budget sufficient funding for the maintenance of the chemical laboratory at the BMVC, and to have contracts for equivalent services. Additional funding has to be allocated for the procurement of new analytical instruments and other verification equipment. The acquisition and maintenance of such instruments and equipment are very expensive. Due to wear and tear and in response technological advances, the instruments will have to be replaced regularly.

60. The system of cameras and sensors should be upgraded and brought up to the latest state of technical development. The following options could be considered: installation of new digital cameras, introduction of new types of seals (i.e. electronic seals which could be scanned remotely), creation of additional capabilities to handle and transfer information electronically, and new sensor technology. All these improvements have in parallel a direct impact on the infrastructure and general support, which also have to grow in parallel.

Notification requirements

61. List A of Annex II contains chemicals capable of being used for the development, production or acquisition of chemical weapons, but which also are usable for non-prohibited purposes. According to Annex II, the chemicals listed include their chemical forms and mixtures.

62. For improved implementation of the Plan in the chemical area, the Special Commission would need to further clarify the notification requirements with respect to sale and supply to Iraq of relevant items. On the basis of the practical experience gained by the Commission, Iraq and Member States should be informed that the Commission does not require notifications for chemicals from list A of Annex II present in, for example, cosmetics, medicines, soaps and paints.

Additional requirements

63. If disarmament issues are not solved within the verification of Iraq's proscribed CW programme, the chemical monitoring system should be able to compensate in some way for this important gap. Specific requirements would be required would depend on the nature and scope of the unresolved issues.

64. At present, main unresolved issues of Iraq's CW programme include unaccounted for munitions, production equipment and precursor chemicals. To increase the Commission's degree of confidence that there are no chemical weapons, related materials and production equipment retained in Iraq, the Commission would also need, in addition to the chemical monitoring system in its current scope, to cover a large number of undeclared sites, facilities and activities, both military and civilian. This would require additional resources and expertise in the BMVC. The Chemical monitoring team would need to be re-enforced with experts in chemical munitions and chemists specialized in R&D and the production of organophosphorus chemicals. In addition, the Commission would need to apply new verification techniques, including non-destructive equipment to verify types of munitions.

65. The easing or lifting of the sanctions regime could also have a major impact on the resources required for the full implementation of the chemical monitoring system. Iraq's mineral oil industry with its downstream products and Iraq's mineral fertilizer industry are directly influenced by the sanctions. These industries in particular could have an exponential growth rate, after the easing or lifting of the sanctions. This could not only include the significant import of spare parts, but also the expansion of their infrastructures. Refinery downstream products in connection with basic chemicals, such as chlorine and phosphorous could also provide the chemical basis for proscribed activities. In parallel to the growth of Iraq's chemical industry the scope of Iraq's declarations will also increase significantly. Therefore, would need to increase its resources significantly. This includes the number of personnel in the Chemical monitoring team at the BMVC and in New York and additional cameras and sensors.