United
Nations


Distr.
GENERAL

S/1996/848
11 October 1996

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


NOTE BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

1. The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the Security Council a report submitted by the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission, established by the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 9 (b) (i) of Security Council resolution 687 (1991).

2. The present report is the second report by the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission following the adoption of Security Council resolution 1051 (1996) of 27 March 1996, in which, in paragraph 16, the Council called for the consolidation of the reports required under the Council's resolutions 699 (1991) of 17 June 1991 and 715 (1991) of 11 October 1991. 1/ It covers the period from 11 April to 11 October 1996.

Notes

1/ The Commission's 19 previous regular six-monthly reports are: S/23165, S/23268, S/23801, S/24108 and Corr.1, S/24661, S/24984, S/25620, S/25977, S/26684, S/26910, S/1994/489, S/1994/750, S/1994/1138 and Corr.1, S/1994/1422 and Add.1, S/1995/284, S/1995/494, S/1995/864, S/1995/1038 and S/1996/258.

96-27259 (E) 151096 /...

*9627259*

Annex

Report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the

Special Commission established by the Secretary-General

pursuant to paragraph 9 (b) (i) of resolution 687 (1991)

CONTENTS

Paragraphs Page

I. INTRODUCTION ......................................... 1 - 4 4

II. ACHIEVEMENTS AND ISSUES .............................. 5 - 22 4

A. Chemical area .................................... 7 - 12 5

B. Biological area .................................. 13 - 16 6

C. Missile area ..................................... 17 - 22 7

III. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS .................................. 23 - 67 9

A. Relations with Iraq .............................. 23 - 57 9

B. Ongoing monitoring and verification .............. 58 - 62 17

C. Air support ...................................... 63 - 67 18

IV. CHEMICAL ACTIVITIES .................................. 68 - 83 19

A. Proscribed programmes ............................ 68 - 78 19

B. Monitoring activities ............................ 79 - 83 21

V. BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES ................................ 84 - 93 22

A. Proscribed programmes ............................ 84 - 87 22

B. Monitoring activities ............................ 88 - 93 23

VI. MISSILE ACTIVITIES ................................... 94 - 106 24

A. Proscribed programmes ............................ 94 - 102 24

B. Monitoring activities ............................ 103 - 106 26

VII. NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES ................................... 107 - 113 26

VIII. EXPORT/IMPORT MONITORING MECHANISM ................... 114 - 120 28

CONTENTS (continued)

Paragraphs Page

IX. OTHER ACTIVITIES ..................................... 121 - 130 29

A. Finance and material support ..................... 121 - 125 29

B. Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Centre and

operations ....................................... 126 - 130 30

X. CONCLUSIONS .......................................... 131 - 138 31

Appendix. Inspection schedule ......................................... 34

I. INTRODUCTION

1. The present report is the second report by the Special Commission following the adoption of resolution 1051 (1996) of 27 March 1996. It is a consolidated report addressing all aspects of the Commission's work, under resolutions 687 (1991) of 3 April 1991, 707 (1991) of 15 August 1991, 715 (1991) of 11 October 1991, 1051 (1996) of 27 March 1996 and 1060 (1996) of 12 June 1996.

2. The report covers the period from 11 April to 11 October 1996. During the period, the Executive Chairman of the Commission, at the request of the Security Council in its presidential statements of 14 June (S/PRST/1996/28) and 23 August (S/PRST/1996/36), provided ad hoc reports on the results of his visits to Baghdad in June and August of 1996. The reports of these visits have been issued as documents of the Council (S/1996/463 and S/1996/714, respectively). In addition, the Chairman briefed the Council in June, July, August and September on developments in the Commission's work.

3. The Commission has continued with the implementation of the mandate laid down in resolution 687 (1991) and subsequent relevant resolutions. That mandate has two specific parts: firstly, the identification and disposal of all chemical and biological weapons and all stocks of agents and related subsystems and components and all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities, as well as all ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres and their related major parts and repair and production facilities; and secondly, the creation and operation of a system of ongoing monitoring and verification of Iraq's compliance with its obligation not to reacquire the proscribed items. Furthermore, the Commission continues to discharge its responsibilities in the nuclear field in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

4. The Commission has vigorously pursued both its major tasks in the period under review. On the first, significant progress has been achieved but some important problems remain unsolved. With respect to the second task, the system of ongoing monitoring and verification is in place and functions effectively. The Commission continues to make refinements in the light of operational experience. The full implementation of resolution 1051 (1996), on the export/import monitoring mechanism, will provide the Commission with another layer in its monitoring. The Commission's activities in Iraq have met serious obstacles. Nevertheless, with strong support of the Security Council and through contacts between the Executive Chairman and the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, these problems have been addressed. A significant development in this context has been the agreement between the Commission and Iraq on a joint statement and a joint programme of action of 22 June 1996.

II. ACHIEVEMENTS AND ISSUES

5. The Special Commission has been in existence for more than five years. During that period it has recorded significant progress that is often overlooked. In order to provide the Security Council with the full picture necessary for it to make its determinations relating to section C of resolution 687 (1991), the Commission's reports have frequently highlighted the goals that have yet to be achieved and to the problems encountered in doing so. In the present report, the Commission has decided to include a summary of what has been accomplished over the last five years, together with an account of the difficulties encountered and what remains to be done.

6. It should be recalled that under the terms of resolution 687 (1991), Iraq was required to accept the unconditional destruction, removal or rendering harmless, under supervision by the Commission, of all chemical and biological weapons and all stocks of agents and all related subsystems and components and all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities; all ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres and related major parts, and repair and production facilities. Under the terms of the resolution Iraq was required to submit to the Secretary-General, within 15 days of the adoption of the resolution on 3 April 1991, a declaration of the locations, amounts and types of all items specified, and agree to urgent on-site inspection. The Commission was created to carry out immediate on-site inspection of Iraq's biological, chemical and missile capabilities based on Iraq's declarations and the designation of any additional locations by the Commission itself. Iraq was to yield possession to the Commission of all proscribed items mentioned above for destruction, removal or rendering harmless by the Commission. All elements of this mandate are not yet completed. Important in this context is the fact that Iraq, in August 1995, officially admitted that it had hitherto concealed important information from the Commission and IAEA. This admission clearly establishes that the responsibility for the delays rests squarely on Iraq's shoulders. Only recently, in June and July 1996, over five years after the adoption of resolution 687 (1991), has Iraq provided the Commission with what it states to be its formal and official declarations of full, final and complete disclosure (FFCD) in the chemical, biological and missile fields which were called for in resolutions 687 (1991) and 707 (1991). The Commission will need to verify these declarations fully.

A. Chemical area

7. The Commission has accomplished the destruction of large quantities of Iraq's chemical weapons stock. The planning for the creation of a chemical destruction group (CDG) started in the summer of 1991 with the establishment of an advisory panel composed of international experts on chemical warfare agent destruction issues. Fact-finding missions visited Iraq to survey the extent and state of its chemical weapons arsenal. Meetings of international experts were held in New York to review the results of the missions and to make recommendations on how the arsenal might be destroyed.

8. All chemical weapons destruction was carried out at the Muthanna State Establishment, Iraq's primary chemical weapons facility, with one exception. Some munitions found at the Khamissiyah arms depot in October 1991 were judged too dangerous to move. Therefore, they were destroyed in situ during February/March 1992. The destruction of all other agent and munitions took place at Muthanna from June 1992 to May 1994. The work was carried out often in extremely harsh and dangerous physical conditions including the presence of chemical warfare agent, precursors, leaking munitions and unexploded ordnance. Appropriate standards of health and safety were maintained. During the period, the Commission supervised the destruction of over 480,000 litres of live chemical weapons agent, 28,000 chemical munitions and approximately 1.8 million litres, and over 1 million kilograms of some 45 different precursor chemicals. A variety of equipment was also rendered harmless.

9. For the destruction mission the Commission was required to design two special facilities - a hydrolysis unit and an incinerator - for the disposal of the agents and precursors. Iraq contributed to the process by constructing the two facilities, using in many cases equipment which had itself been used in the chemical weapons programme. It was necessary to put in place a complete destruction programme in a very limited time. The process had to take into account the technological resources available locally. Moreover, urgent action was required given the unsafe state of the stockpile at Muthanna, which posed environmental concerns. The destruction of the chemical weapons stocks benefited from steady and good cooperative support by the Iraqi authorities and the personnel involved. The Muthanna site was cleaned up in the process to ensure that it was free of contamination and significant chemical hazards.

10. With the execution of this programme, the Commission has destroyed chemical weapons economically within a limited budget of time and resources, taking into account public safety and health standards. In carrying out this unique destruction programme, the Commission was aided by more than 100 specialists provided to the Commission from 25 States.

11. The Commission has, through the process of inspection, interviews, seminars and information provided by supporting States and its own internal analytical capabilities, been able to increase its understanding of the scope and extent of the chemical weapons programme. As a result, Iraq has been required to expand greatly its own account of the programme when confronted with clear evidence from the Commission that it has not fully disclosed all of its chemical weapons efforts. Its declarations on its programmes have grown from 88 pages submitted in 1992, to 440 pages provided to the Commission on 22 June 1996.

12. The Commission now has a fundamental understanding of the earlier tactical chemical weapons programmes. However, the most technologically advanced or modern elements remain unaccounted for.

B. Biological area

13. From the time of its first biological inspection in August 1991, the Commission had been concerned that Iraq had pursued a biological weapons programme. Iraq consistently and emphatically denied that it had undertaken any proscribed biological warfare related activity. In autumn 1994, a thorough review was conducted by the Commission of all information and data obtained through inspections, technical talks with Iraq and interaction with supporting Governments. This included an attempt to create a material balance of equipment and complex growth media acquired by Iraq. The review reinforced the suspicion that the Al Hakam factory was a biological warfare agent production facility and that other sites were also involved in a biological weapons programme. Based on the results of that review, inspections, including interviews with more than 50 Iraqi personnel, were carried out. These enabled the Commission to arrive at a firm assessment that Iraq's declarations in the biological area at that time were fundamentally wrong and misleading as it was attempting to hide a full-scale biological warfare programme, including weaponization. The Commission came to the unequivocal conclusion that Iraq had in fact produced biological weapons, that its biological programme was offensive in nature, that Al Hakam had been constructed as a dedicated biological warfare agent research and production facility and had been operational before January 1991, and that additional sites, including Muthanna, a known chemical weapons establishment, were involved in the programme. The Commission confronted Iraq in February 1995 with these assessments.

14. In response, Iraq continued to deny flatly and categorically any biological weapons activities. After intensive inspection efforts and accumulation of further findings by the Commission, on 1 July 1995, it finally admitted to having had an offensive biological weapons programme. However, weaponization was still denied. The weaponization and the broader scope of the biological warfare programme was disclosed only in August 1995, after the departure from Iraq of Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamel, former Minister of Defence and Minister Supervisor of the Military Industrialization Corporation.

15. After the admission that Al Hakam was the main biological warfare agent production facility, the Commission decided on its destruction. In May/June 1996, a Commission team (UNSCOM 134/BW 31) supervised the destruction of the extensive buildings, equipment and materials. All structures and equipment at Al Hakam, except for a few items, were explosively demolished and the remnants were buried. The equipment at Al Manal and Al Safah, two other known facilities that had been used in the proscribed programme, was transported to Al Hakam and destroyed there. The air handling system for high containment at Al Manal was inactivated. The growth media purchased for the proscribed activities was also destroyed.

16. The Commission has succeeded in uncovering the existence of Iraq's biological programme and believes it has destroyed its major facilities. However, it needs to continue to investigate the scope and extent of the programme to arrive at a complete picture of it.

C. Missile area

17. Over the last five years, the Commission has made considerable progress in the identification and the elimination of Iraq's proscribed missiles and capabilities. As a result of its initial declarations in April/May 1991, the Commission supervised the destruction of its declared 48 operational missiles, 14 conventional warheads, 6 operational mobile launchers and other support equipment and materials in early July 1991. The destruction of the initially declared proscribed missile production tools, equipment and some facilities was carried out by April 1992. The destruction of the initially declared 30 missile chemical warheads was completed in April 1993.

18. Through the Commission's inspection efforts, a number of undisclosed proscribed weapons, equipment and items retained by Iraq were also uncovered. In March 1992, Iraq disclosed that it had concealed from the Commission the greater part of its operational missile force (85 operational missiles, over 130 warheads, both conventional and chemical, 8 operational mobile launchers and missile force support equipment) and a significant amount of other proscribed items and materials. These were alleged to have been unilaterally and secretly destroyed in late July 1991, without allowing the Commission to supervise the destruction, as required by resolution 687 (1991). Since March 1992, the Commission has been able to verify a number of these weapons and items as destroyed, although a full accounting has not been possible. Iraq claimed that the unilateral destruction operations had not been fully documented or recorded.

19. The Commission continued to have concerns that not all proscribed items had been disclosed and that involvement of dual-use items in proscribed activities was concealed. For example, Iraq had consistently denied that specific production equipment had been procured for, or used in, proscribed activities. Since 1993, the Commission has spent a considerable amount of effort in order to ascertain the true purpose for the acquisition and use of this equipment. By early 1995, the Commission accumulated enough evidence that fully validated its concerns and a decision was taken to destroy or render harmless relevant pieces of equipment. This operation was completed in July 1995, under strong protest from Iraq. In November 1995, it finally acknowledged that the equipment destroyed or rendered harmless by the Commission had indeed been specifically procured for and used in proscribed activities.

20. The Commission has identified specific instances of Iraq's activities since 1991 that are in violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions. The Commission collected firm evidence that Iraq had been receiving proscribed Scud missile gyroscope components up to the autumn of 1991. This was admitted in December 1994. In a separate instance, a partial shipment of proscribed advanced missile gyroscopes was intercepted en route to Iraq in 1995. A supplier and the procurement network were also identified. After the initial denial of its involvement in the acquisition of these components, Iraq acknowledged the receipt of some of the items and claimed their unilateral destruction. A follow-up joint investigation by the Commission and the Government of Iraq was initiated. Through this cooperative effort, many aspects were clarified. The Government provided to the Commission a substantial amount of documentation and granted access to personnel involved in the case. The Commission is in the process of verifying information provided by the Government. It is regrettable that Iraq is still withholding a positive response to the Commission's request for further specific documentation related to the case.

21. Iraq now admits that its initial declarations after the adoption of resolution 687 (1991) and its first full, final and complete disclosure in the missile area submitted in May 1992 were not complete and that important information had been concealed. Even before this admission, the Commission had uncovered a number of elements of concealed missile activities. These involved projects for the acquisition and production of standard and advanced missile propellants, missile testing activities, projects dealing with missile computer simulations and telemetry, and efforts related to acquisition - either through indigenous production or import - of proscribed longer-range missiles. The Commission also collected evidence of undisclosed acquisitions of important proscribed missile components from a number of suppliers. Many of these issues are now reported by Iraq in its current official FFCD submitted in July 1996.

22. While the Commission has completed a major portion of its task in the missile area, Iraq still has not fully accounted for all proscribed weapons, items and capabilities. Until it provides a substantiated accounting that the Commission would be able to verify, concerns will continue to exist that Iraq is withholding proscribed weapons, items and information on proscribed activities, including documentation.

III. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

A. Relations with Iraq

23. In its April 1996 report (S/1996/258), the Special Commission noted that it had not completed its task of identifying stocks of proscribed weapons, components and related facilities and destroying them. It also concluded that relatively minor, but highly significant, quantities of proscribed items remained unaccounted for. The Commission has continued to conduct inspections in the implementation of its mandate. In doing so, it has encountered considerable problems brought on by Iraq's failure to meet its obligations in full.

24. It should be recalled that the various instruments pertaining to the Commission's rights - resolutions 687 (1991), 707 (1991), 715 (1991), 1051 (1996) and 1060 (1996), as well as the exchange of letters of May 1991 - provide for unrestricted freedom of movement without advance notice within Iraq of the personnel of the Commission and the right to unimpeded access to any site or facility for the purpose of on-site inspection. The Commission has the right to request, receive, examine and copy any record, data or information relevant to the Commission's activities and to conduct interviews. The Commission's rights include the right to take photographs, whether from the ground or from the air, relevant to the Commission's activities. Iraq is obliged to ensure the security and safety of the Commission and its personnel. In the period under review, many of these rights and privileges have been infringed upon or denied. This slows down the process of the implementation of the Commission's mandate and only increases the concern that Iraq may still be engaged in proscribed activities.

25. Following the presentation of the Commission's April 1996 report (S/1996/258), the Chairman travelled to Baghdad three times for discussions. During his first visit, in April, the Chairman held meetings with Lieutenant-General Amer Rashid, Minister of Oil, and Mr. Tariq Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister, on 18 and 19 April, respectively. He stressed that he felt that outstanding issues were solvable and explained that this was why he had issued an invitation in paragraph 119 of the April 1996 report to put outstanding issues into a structure so that they could be tackled jointly through a programme of action. The Chairman also proposed that the two sides establish a regular series of meetings. While these proposals were not rejected, there was no clear acceptance.

26. An inspection team, UNSCOM 150, was sent to Iraq in the first part of June 1996 to search for proscribed items and documentation relevant thereto. The inspection team was blocked at a number of sites, with Iraq claiming that it could not allow access because the sites were related to its national security.

27. The Chairman reported the events involving denial of access to the Security Council. The Council acted by unanimously adopting resolution 1060 (1996) on 12 June 1996. In the resolution the Council emphasized the importance it attached to full compliance by Iraq with its obligations, under resolutions 687 (1991), 707 (1991) and 715 (1991), to permit immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any site which the Commission wished to inspect. The Council deplored the refusal of Iraq's authorities to allow access to sites designated by the Commission. It termed Iraq's actions a clear violation of the provisions of the Council's resolutions and demanded that Iraq cooperate fully with the Commission in accordance with the relevant resolutions.

28. On 13 June 1996, UNSCOM 150 attempted to inspect other sites. Despite the adoption of resolution 1060 (1996), the Iraqi authorities refused access to the inspection team. The Chairman briefed the Security Council, which reacted by adopting a presidential statement (S/PRST/1996/28) condemning the failure of Iraq to comply with resolution 1060 (1996). It again demanded that Iraq comply with the relevant resolutions of the Council and, in particular, allow the inspection teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transportation which they wished to inspect. The Council also requested the Chairman to visit Baghdad as soon as possible with a view to securing access to all sites which the Commission wished to inspect and to engage in a forward-looking dialogue on other issues under the Commission's mandate. It further requested the Chairman to report immediately afterwards on the results of his visit and on the impact of Iraq's policies on the mandate and work of the Commission.

29. The Chairman visited Baghdad from 19 to 22 June 1996. A report on the visit by the Chairman was presented to the Council on 24 June, both orally and in writing (S/1996/463). During the visit the Chairman met the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Tariq Aziz. The Chairman stated that his mandate required him to obtain from Iraq the assurances regarding access demanded by the Council. The Deputy Prime Minister stated that Iraq would continue to cooperate with the Commission. However, he had been concerned that the sites selected for inspection by the Commission involved issues of sovereignty and national security. The Chairman assured the Deputy Prime Minister that the Commission had always fully respected Iraq's sovereignty and legitimate security concerns in the conduct of its operations. The Chairman discussed with the Deputy Prime Minister the question of inspections of sites that Iraq considered sensitive on the grounds of its sovereignty and national security. The Chairman informed the Deputy Prime Minister of his intention to issue modalities for the inspection of sensitive sites. Those sites - very limited in number - would be inspected under special procedures which would take account of Iraq's legitimate concerns regarding its security without endangering the objectives of the inspection, and at the same time fully safeguarding the rights and the status, privileges and immunities of the Commission.

30. At the conclusion of the visit by the Chairman, a joint statement was agreed and signed on 22 June 1996. In the joint statement, the Government of Iraq reiterated its commitment to continue its cooperation with the Special Commission and IAEA in carrying out its obligations in accordance with Security Council resolution 687 (1991) and other relevant resolutions and undertook to secure immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to all sites which the Commission or IAEA might wish to inspect. Being guided by the commitment of States Members of the United Nations to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Iraq, the Commission undertook that, in carrying out its mandate and exercising its rights under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, it would operate with full respect for the legitimate security concerns of Iraq. The Commission and Iraq agreed to intensify their work with the aim of making it possible for the Commission to report as soon as possible to the Council that Iraq had met its obligations under section C of resolution 687 (1991). The two sides agreed that this process would be helped through the conduct of regular meetings at the political level every two months in Baghdad. Such meetings could devote attention to fundamental issues, review the progress and direct any further efforts necessary to achieve the objectives. The full text of the joint statement is contained in the Chairman's report of the visit (ibid., annex, para. 13).

31. During the visit, a joint programme of action was also agreed between the two sides. This had originally been called for in the Commission's April 1996 report. It focuses on Iraq's full, final and complete disclosures and the means and techniques of verifying them. As a priority and to accelerate verification, both sides agreed to concentrate their work on fundamental areas: the material balance of proscribed weapons and their major components, the unilateral destruction of proscribed items, the further provision of documentation and the identification of measures used to retain proscribed items.

32. At the end of the visit on 22 June, Iraq handed over its declarations containing full, final and complete disclosures in the chemical and biological areas as called for in the relevant Security Council resolutions. It undertook to provide shortly the missile declaration, and did so on 2 July.

33. In keeping with the joint programme of action, a team commenced the verification of the biological FFCD on 1 July 1996. In the absence of sufficient documentary information to back up many statements in the FFCD, it was necessary to undertake a number of interviews with personnel involved in the proscribed programmes. This technique, agreed to in the joint programme of action, is essential if the Commission is to report on Iraq's compliance with resolution 687 (1991). The team encountered difficulties in getting access to personnel and in the conduct of interviews. The Iraqi side stated that it would select the persons to be interviewed and lay down the guidelines for the conduct of such interviews. It is clear to the Commission that such conditions undermine the value of interviews as a tool for verification. The refusal to accept the Commission's format for meaningful interviews caused the Chairman to decide to withdraw the team from Iraq on 3 July. An exchange of letters between the Chairman and the Deputy Prime Minister failed to resolve the issue satisfactorily. The Chairman wrote again to the Deputy Prime Minister stating that the process of verification of the FFCDs would not go forward in the absence of an understanding on interview procedures. The Iraqi side made it known that it would respond to the questions outlined in the Chairman's letters when the Chairman was next in Baghdad in August for the bimonthly meeting.

34. A renewed attempt was made in July to resume the inspection effort which had earlier been blocked. A further inspection team was sent to Iraq on 15 July, again on a search for prohibited items and related documentation. Following the undertakings in the joint statement, the Commission had hoped that Iraq would, in conformity with its obligations, secure the Commission's team immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to sites it wished to inspect. Unfortunately, it failed to do so. The team was blocked as it tried to proceed on a road leading to an inspection site. Iraq claimed that the route passed through "presidential areas" and formally stated that the team would not be allowed to continue. The Chairman briefed the Council on those events on 17 July.

35. The team encountered similar blockages when it tried once again to reach the same site on 18 July. It became clear that, despite its obligations, Iraq had no intention of allowing the team to proceed with the inspection. As a result, on 19 July, the Chairman terminated the mission and briefed the Security Council. In the course of the informal consultations, the Chairman was instructed to contact the Deputy Prime Minister to determine the reasons for Iraq's behaviour. The President of the Council summoned Iraq's Permanent Representative to express the Council's concern and similarly ask for an explanation of Iraq's actions.

36. The Chairman sent a message to the Deputy Prime Minister on 19 July 1996 and spoke to him on 20 July. The Deputy Prime Minister explained that Iraq had the intention to adhere to its commitments and would continue to do so. He argued that there had been confusion on both sides during the inspection. Although the mission had been terminated, the Deputy Prime Minister offered to facilitate a visit to the site the team had wished to inspect and indicated that he himself would be present. The Chairman decided that an ad hoc team should be formed to follow up on this offer and a visit to the site was arranged on 21 July, albeit not in conformity with the Commission's standard procedures for an inspection.

37. In May, July and August, special teams were sent to investigate Iraq's activities of concealment of proscribed items and related documents. Details of the Commission's investigations are provided in paragraphs 49 to 57 below.

38. On 23 August, the Security Council adopted a Presidential statement on the eve of the Chairman's departure for Baghdad. The statement (S/PRST/1996/36) termed Iraq's behaviour a gross violation of its obligations under resolutions 687 (1991), 707 (1991) and 715 (1991), as well as a contradiction of its commitments under the joint statement. The presidential statement underlined the importance of the Commission's inspection teams and demanded once again that they be given immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transportation which they wished to inspect and Iraqi officials whom they wished to interview so that the Commission could fully discharge its mandate. The Council reminded the Government of Iraq that only full compliance with its obligations under the relevant resolutions would enable the Chairman of the Commission to present a report in accordance with section C of resolution 687 (1991) regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and related production facilities. The Council also strongly reaffirmed its full support for the Commission in the conduct of its inspections and the other tasks entrusted to it by the Council.

39. On 26 August, the Chairman arrived in Baghdad for further discussions with the Deputy Prime Minister in accordance with the provisions of the joint statement. During the meetings, which concluded on 28 August, the Deputy Prime Minister declared Iraq's intention to observe the terms of the joint statement and to implement in full the joint programme of action. The two sides discussed, in depth, methods and approaches for interview procedures and arrived at important undertakings. Furthermore, useful and practical ideas on how to avoid repetitions of the serious incidents in relation to inspection activities were discussed and some arrangements were agreed upon.

40. The Deputy Prime Minister stated formally that the Government of Iraq did not conceal any prohibited weapons, components or related documentation. The Chairman, however, expressed concern at Iraq's failure so far to disclose fully its proscribed activities and provide a credible accounting of its holdings of proscribed items and the disposal thereof. The Chairman stated that under resolution 687 (1991) all proscribed weapons should be fully accounted for and destroyed. Any long-range missile, particularly if equipped with a warhead containing biological or chemical warfare agent, would be a matter of great significance for peace and security in the region.

41. During the visit, the Chairman raised the fact that Iraq had still not enacted the national implementation measures required under the monitoring plans. The Deputy Prime Minister responded that this was Iraq's responsibility and that he would handle it. He gave no indication of any time-frame for enacting the measures. The Commission is concerned that Iraq has not taken the necessary steps in this respect. As long as these measures are not introduced or seen to be realized in practice, an impediment in implementing resolution 687 (1991) will remain.

42. Following the Chairman's return to New York, he presented a written report (S/1996/714) and gave an oral briefing to the Council. The August visit, as an element in the implementation of the process established under the joint statement and the joint programme of action, was highly useful. It showed that on a political level, a framework had been established for the speedy implementation of the Commission's mandate.

43. Dr. Riyadh Al-Qaysi, the Under-Secretary of the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called on the Chairman on 11 September during a visit to New York. They continued the discussions which the Chairman had had with the Deputy Prime Minister in August in Baghdad. In addition, they addressed the question of current air operations in Iraq. The Under-Secretary renewed earlier assurances that Iraq would not interfere with the Commission's flight operations.

44. The Deputy Executive Chairman paid a visit to Baghdad from 29 September to 3 October. During his visit he held discussions with Lieutenant-General Amer Rashid, the Minister of Oil, and, on the instructions of the Chairman, provided an initial assessment of the first round of missions to verify the FFCDs recently submitted to the Commission.

45. Much of the discourse on the Iraqi side amounted to personal attacks on the Deputy Executive Chairman and did not address the matters at hand. It is not the first occasion on which Iraq has endeavoured to discredit and intimidate members of the Commission and its personnel. Such attacks are counter-productive and inconsistent with Iraq's statements that it would cooperate in overcoming the remaining tasks.

46. On Friday, 4 October 1996, the Chairman met the Foreign Minister of Iraq, Mr. Mohammed Said Al-Sahaf. During the meeting, they discussed the points raised by the Minister during his intervention in the general debate in the General Assembly on 2 October.

47. They also discussed the Foreign Minister's 7 September 1996 letter to the Secretary-General in which Iraq repeated an allegation that the Commission was being exploited by the United States of America and was being used to gather military and intelligence materials which would be directed against the security of Iraq. The Chairman refuted these baseless allegations. He noted that the Russian authorities had denied that the remarks attributed to an unnamed representative of the Intelligence Service by the Interfax News Agency represented the official position of the Russian Government. The Foreign Minister simply said that Iraq had the right to use any materials in support of Iraq's position. The Chairman responded that Iraq's conduct in this matter called into question its often stated willingness to cooperate with the Commission.

48. The Chairman stressed the Commission's intention to continue with the implementation of the joint programme of action, this being the most effective manner in which to proceed. The Foreign Minister said that Iraq would cooperate to the maximum but that it expected the same from the Commission. The Chairman confirmed that the Commission had every intention of doing so, as it had done over the last five years.

49. Since its inception, the Commission has carried out numerous inspections aimed at locating proscribed items and related documentation and has urged Iraq to provide full and complete disclosures of its holdings and disposal of proscribed materials. The Commission has also investigated issues related to concealment activities of proscribed items.

50. On 8 August 1995, Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamel, the former head of the Military Industrialization Corporation (MIC), an organization responsible for the development and manufacture of proscribed weapons, departed for Jordan. In the aftermath of that event, the Commission was able to bring under its control a massive amount of documentation and material directly linked to proscribed programmes. This had been hidden inside Iraq since the autumn of 1991 and had been turned over to the Commission at a final hide-site, a so-called "chicken farm" at Haidar, on 20 August 1995. The very existence and concealment of these materials over four and one half years validated the Commission's concerns about the existence of a mechanism used to collect and transport these items and to establish a network of hide-sites and provide logistical support for this clandestine operation. Iraq, however, asserts that there was no systematic mechanism of concealment on the part of the Government of Iraq.

51. Since early 1996, the Commission has undertaken a series of inspections which specifically targeted sites which it believed to be associated with concealment activities. The first of such inspections, UNSCOM 143, took place between 8 and 18 March 1996. The events and results of that inspection were presented in the Commission's report of April 1996 (S/1996/258). In May 1996, the Commission dispatched a team to conduct interviews with Iraqi officials believed to be involved in the concealment activities. The initial focus of this investigation centred around the circumstances surrounding the collection and hiding of the documents and material at the "chicken farm". Iraq admitted that an organized campaign had been carried out between mid-1991 and March 1993 to collect important documentation primarily related to technological know-how available in Iraq for the design and manufacture of weapons of mass destruction. Those documents were handed over by the facilities involved to representatives of the security organizations for long-term storage and concealment. Iraq explained that the documents from the "chicken farm" on 20 August 1995 had constituted only a portion of concealed documentation, with the rest having been burnt just a few days prior to 20 August, at another farm west of Baghdad.

52. Despite every effort by the Commission to define clearly the scope and procedures of this investigation, including due regard for Iraq's legitimate security concerns, Iraq abruptly terminated its cooperation without allowing the team to proceed with its investigation of the involvement of Iraq's security organizations in the concealment activities. This move was made despite the early admission that officers from the Special Republican Guard had been carrying out the collection, safekeeping and protection of the "chicken farm" documents between September 1991 and August 1995. Iraq stated that there had been no involvement of the special security organizations in concealing the "chicken farm" documents, or any other material, from the Commission. It claimed that the entire matter had been controlled by Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamel alone, and that, in executing his programme of concealment, he had initially made use of the MIC internal security department, and later enlisted the services of only two Special Republican Guard officers, both of whom came from the protective unit, assigned to him. When asked how, under these circumstances, the Government had come to know of the documents at the "chicken farm", it was claimed that the tip-off had been received only a day prior to the turning over of the material to the Commission on 20 August 1995, and that this tip-off had come to the Government from a "girlfriend" of Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamel. This implausible story was later retracted by the Government (see para. 56 below).

53. Following the failure of Iraq to cooperate with the May mission, the Commission undertook an on-site inspection focused on investigating the role of military and security elements in the concealment activities. From 10 to 16 June 1996, the Commission dispatched a team, UNSCOM 150, to inspect a series of sites which were believed to be involved in the concealment of proscribed weapons and material. These sites were associated primarily with the Special Republican Guard and the Republican Guard. Iraq denied the access to four out of six sites designated for inspection, despite the Security Council's demand that Iraq allow immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access. This blockage prompted the termination of the UNSCOM 150 mission on 15 June and a visit by the Chairman to Iraq on instructions from the Council. His talks in Baghdad resulted in the joint statement and joint programme of action on 22 June 1996, inter alia, designed to further verification efforts on all outstanding topics, including the issue of concealment measures. This was the first time that Iraq had acknowledged this issue as being a legitimate topic of concern for the Commission and a priority and fundamental issue in the verification process. To facilitate the conduct of inspection activities, the Commission has established specific modalities, as reported above, designed to facilitate immediate access by teams to sites regarded by Iraq as being of a sensitive nature. Iraq specifically identified such sensitive sites as belonging to the Mukhabarat (General Intelligence Service), Amn al Aman (General Security Service), Amn al Khass (Special Security Organization), the Special Republican Guard, and the Republican Guard.

54. Based upon the results of the June visit by the Chairman, an inspection team, UNSCOM 155, was sent on 15 July to continue the work initiated during UNSCOM 143 and 150, as well as to resume interviews of Iraqi officials believed to have been involved in concealment activities. Despite the June assurances to provide immediate, unrestricted and unconditional access to all sites, Iraq denied the team access to routes leading to a site intended for inspection. These blockages, which took place on two separate days (16 and 18 July), prompted the termination of UNSCOM 155 on 19 July. A decision by Iraq to invite a visit to the site on 21 July did not alleviate all the concerns of the Commission. The site turned out to belong to the Special Republican Guard with transportation and communication functions. The Iraqi side acknowledged that certain movements of vehicles in the vicinity of the site could have been construed by the Commission as being of a suspicious nature. According to Iraq, these involved transportation of concrete pillars which, by their dimensions and shape, resembled Scud missiles. The team requested additional information on the timing of the movement, origin and current location of these "Scud-like" objects and indicated the Commission's intent to pursue verification of this issue.

55. Investigation of Iraq's declared concealment activities related to documents and materials from the "chicken farm" was continued during the period from 19 to 22 July. Specific information on the collection, movement, storage and disposal of hidden documents and materials was acquired. Some interviews resulted in the contradiction of previous Iraqi statements concerning both the concealment activities and the role of the elements for special security. A manager of the "chicken farm" stated that he had informed the Special Security Organization of the presence of boxes at the farm 10 days prior to these boxes with documents being handed over to the Commission on 20 August 1995. However, the Commission has evidence that prevents it from accepting Iraq's current explanation of the "chicken farm" documents.

56. Between 13 and 17 August, the Commission continued its investigation into the issue of concealment activities. A series of interviews with Iraqi officials produced clear evidence of additional substantive involvement by the Special Republican Guard officers in previously undeclared concealment activities. This time concealment involved the most important production tools and proscribed components from all major missile projects. Iraq also admitted that its earlier statement concerning the events surrounding the turning over of the documents to the Commission in August 1995 (the "girlfriend" story) was in fact a fabrication, and that Iraq's representative had been instructed by the Government to provide misleading information to the Commission in order to prevent any further investigation into the involvement of special security personnel in concealment activities. Evidence of suspicious activity was also presented to Iraq. This included the movement of convoys during periods when inspection teams were delayed or denied access. The inspectors sought to inspect the site visited on 21 July. Again, the team was delayed. The Iraqi authorities denied the use of an UNSCOM helicopter for overflight of the site for the purpose of establishing security of the site. Contrary to its undertakings, the authorities allowed the movement of vehicles, resulting in at least two Iraqi vehicles departing the area prior to the inspection team being granted access. The Iraqi side refused to continue discussions of the issue of suspicious vehicular movement. Furthermore, Iraq refused to provide access to the "Scud-like" objects that were stated to be involved in such movement. The high-level representative, Lieutenant-General Amer Rashid, made a statement in which he attempted to place the issues of suspicious vehicle movement and at least some other elements of concealment activities off-limits to the Commission's further investigations. He asserted that Iraq would not allow further inspections or interviews related to these issues.

57. The results of the Commission's investigations, starting with UNSCOM 143 in March 1996 and continuing through August, clearly show that there was an organized mechanism of concealment used by Iraq to deny access to proscribed documents and material retained since the adoption of resolution 687 (1991). Throughout this investigation Iraq has sought to deflect or minimize the involvement of its special security services in concealment activities. It has acknowledged that officially sanctioned false statements had been made to mislead the Commission in its investigations. It has resorted to delays and denials of access to sites designated by teams investigating concealment activities. Despite this behaviour, the Commission has accumulated information which reinforces its assessment that the concealment mechanism has been established for the purpose of hiding and protecting proscribed material. Furthermore, the investigation has revealed deficiencies in Iraq's declarations concerning unilateral destruction of proscribed weapons, items and related documentation. The Commission intends to pursue all aspects of its investigation of concealment activities.

B. Ongoing monitoring and verification

58. Pursuant to resolution 715 (1991) and the plan approved thereby, the Commission has designed and established a comprehensive monitoring system in Iraq which has been fully operational for one and a half years. It consists of resident inspectors, real-time monitoring cameras, chemical sensors, aerial inspections, and now the export/import system. The Commission maintains regular monitoring of over 250 sites. Inspectors have made hundreds of inspections of these sites and conducted regular discussions with the Iraqi side concerning monitoring requirements and activities. The system continues to operate effectively.

59. The Commission has been undertaking an assessment of ways to further improve the effectiveness and coverage of the system. It should be borne in mind that, in the long term, monitoring will be the primary activity of the Commission. The Commission is sensitive to the fact that the procedures and precedents established now will be critical in the future when the embargo and sanctions may be revised and significant commerce and trade is under way. For these reasons, the Commission finds it necessary to be rigorous in its own application of monitoring and in demanding strict adherence to all aspects of the monitoring system by Iraq.

60. The Commission currently has under way an effort to modernize and improve the camera and sensor monitoring system, including measures to facilitate maintenance. The Commission and IAEA are conducting a programme of inspections at locations which are not part of the established monitoring site inventory to determine their possible proscribed capabilities. This has been a useful innovation.

61. For the most part, Iraq has sustained a good level of cooperation in the operation of the monitoring system. However, the Commission has detected lapses in Iraq's compliance with monitoring requirements which indicate a lack of discipline, in particular, in providing the required notifications. The Commission has, in the course of its monitoring activities, come across a significant number of pieces of equipment which are required to be notified. While this is an indication of the successful monitoring efforts through inspections, it also denotes at least negligence on the part of Iraqi counterparts. The Commission has experienced failures and delays in notifications concerning the movement of dual-use equipment and tests of missiles. It believes that action may be necessary to cause better compliance; otherwise monitoring confidence will be degraded.

62. On balance, the Commission is satisfied with its monitoring system and believes it is accomplishing the intended objectives.

C. Air support

63. The aerial operations of the Commission have been possible only as a result of the outstanding air support provided by the German Army and Air Force since late 1991. The quality of that support is more than borne out by the five-year accident-free record of the C-160 fixed-wing aircraft and the CH-53 helicopters. The Commission wishes to put on record its appreciation of the major role the Government of Germany has played in supporting the work of the Commission. The Commission also wishes to reiterate its most profound admiration for the personnel of the German Army and Air Force, who have demonstrated their highly regarded and acknowledged professionalism.

64. However, as noted in previous reports of the Commission, the Government of Germany indicated to the Commission over a year ago that it wished to terminate its air support. Without air assets, the Commission simply cannot carry out its mandate. For this reason, the Commission has been actively pursuing replacement air support for several months.

65. As a result of these efforts, the Commission has reached an agreement with the Government of Chile for the provision of a unit of five UH-1H helicopters. The deployment of that unit took place at the beginning of August 1996, allowing for the withdrawal of the German helicopter unit. The first operational flight took place on 20 August 1996. During two months of operation, the Chilean unit has already proved its high professionalism and dedication, even under recent difficult conditions. The Commission wishes to express its recognition and thanks to the Government of Chile for this important contribution.

66. At the same time, the Commission remains engaged in discussions with other Governments for a suitable replacement for the German C-160 aircraft. Although there have been some positive developments in its discussions with one Member State, those discussions have not yet been brought to fruition and the Commission cannot foresee when this replacement might become available. Taking into account the German Government's decision to withdraw its aircraft as soon as possible, the Commission has decided to lease a commercial L-100 aircraft. This aircraft started operations for the Commission on 2 October 1996, allowing for the withdrawal of the last German aircraft. However, the Commission considers this commercial lease arrangement to be temporary and continues to extend every possible effort to obtain the commitment of a Member State to provide two similar aircraft. The Commission does not believe that one aircraft provides sufficient reliability for it to carry out its activities without serious disruption, as has been experienced on several occasions since the German Air Force withdrew its second aircraft at the end of 1995.

67. The Commission's budget now depends exclusively on voluntary contributions. Without the realization of the funding allocated to the Commission under resolution 986 (1995), the leasing of a commercial aircraft diverts a significant amount of the Commission's limited resources from other operational activities. Thus, additional voluntary contributions are required to cover this unexpected expenditure and, at the same time, keep the Commission's inspection activities at the current level.

IV. CHEMICAL ACTIVITIES

A. Proscribed programmes

68. In June 1996, Iraq provided the Special Commission with its official full, final and complete disclosure of its past chemical weapons programmes. This was Iraq's third FFCD, the first having been presented in June 1992 and the second in March 1995. As reported above, in August 1995, the Commission came into possession of a large number of documents relating to proscribed weapons programmes, including information related to its chemical weapons. As a result, Iraq was forced to acknowledge the inadequacy of its FFCD of March 1995.

69. The Commission has almost completed its evaluation and analysis of Iraq's chemical weapons related documents obtained in August 1995 and documents excavated from destroyed buildings at the Muthanna chemical weapons facilities by UNSCOM 129 in March 1996. All these documents provide additional opportunities for the Commission to verify several areas of the chemical weapons programme.

70. In May 1996, a Commission team held a seminar in Baghdad with senior Iraqi officials to clarify certain military aspects of the chemical and biological weapons programmes and to receive additional information on the rationale and the time-frame for the production of different agents and munitions. However, during the seminar, Iraq refused to provide more details on the issue of production and munitions and stated that the official chemical and biological FFCDs would be prepared and submitted without any additional discussions with the Commission. This was done on 22 June 1996.

71. To begin the verification of the chemical FFCD, the Commission sent a team (UNSCOM 140/CW 29) to Iraq in August 1996. In accordance with the joint programme of action, this team was tasked to focus on the verification of the critical areas of the FFCD: the material balance of chemical weapons produced in the period 1989-1990, the unilateral destruction thereof and the removal of equipment at the end of 1990 and early 1991 from chemical weapons related sites and its final disposition.

72. The issues chosen for this first verification mission were for the most part based on documents retrieved from Iraq. The Commission has evidence that chemical warfare agents and munitions were produced in 1989. Iraq has consistently denied this. In addition, the Commission believes that production of different types of chemical weapons was also carried out in the first half of 1990. These findings have a serious impact on the material balance of these weapons. Furthermore, the Commission has concerns related to undeclared facilities where equipment from Muthanna was evacuated before January 1991 and the unilateral destruction conducted secretly by Iraq in the summer of 1991, when, among other items, chemical warheads for Al-Hussein missiles and nerve agent VX precursors were allegedly destroyed.

73. In contravention of the joint programme of action, Iraq refused to undertake a serious review of the Commission's concerns during UNSCOM 140. During his visit to Baghdad in late August 1996, the Executive Chairman provided Iraq with documentary evidence that Iraq had produced chemical agents in 1989. This consisted of records of analysis of chemical warfare agents produced during that year.

74. In September 1996, a further verification team (UNSCOM 161/CW 30) visited Iraq to discuss the production issues raised by the Chairman in August. The team provided more documents and evidence. The Iraqi side acknowledged that it would need to address these issues, and on 1 October 1996, Iraq handed over seven letters stating that they should be considered as integral parts of its chemical FFCD. These letters do not fully address the Commission's concerns.

75. After an initial evaluation of Iraq's June 1996 chemical FFCD, the Commission believes that requirements for the full, final and complete disclosure have not been fully met. The Commission believes this FFCD is still incomplete and some of its statements incorrect. Information available to the Commission, including that from Iraq's documents, establishes that not all Iraqi chemical weapons related activities have been disclosed.

76. While the Commission has a good understanding of Iraq's activities in the period prior to August 1988, questions remain concerning developments during the period since then. Iraq's chemical weapons programme spanned a long time period, where different priorities and objectives were followed, and accordingly different needs were involved. Viewed from this perspective, Iraq's efforts should be understood as comprising three different levels of ambition. Iraq has stated that the initial programme was designed to create a massive number of tactical chemical weapons. The next stage, after 1988, aimed at self-sufficiency, integration of the programme into Iraq's chemical industry and production of more stable and storable chemical agents. In its last stage, the programme was aimed at the design and production of strategic chemical weapons. The Commission's understanding of the first and oldest phase of the programme is considerably greater than the understanding of the two more recent periods. Details of the later phases have not been disclosed in the FFCD. The Commission believes that a full understanding of the latter two phases of the programme is absolutely necessary before it has completed its task and is able to verify that nothing remains.

77. The Commission has continued its efforts to verify the FFCD through requests for information from Governments of former suppliers. Not all requests have resulted in responses. In the absence of such information, particularly in respect of large amounts of precursors and munitions delivered to Iraq, the Commission faces serious delays in the verification process. The Commission will continue its efforts and invite supplier Governments to provide the information sought as soon as possible.

78. The remaining problems could be resolved if Iraq were to cooperate fully with the Commission at all levels in the spirit of the joint programme of action.

B. Monitoring activities

79. To date, the resident chemical monitoring group has conducted over 350 inspections. The current group consists of 10 inspectors and laboratory technicians with backgrounds in analytical chemistry, process chemistry, explosive ordnance disposal and chemical weapons.

80. Some 115 facilities in Iraq are currently subject to monitoring by the chemical group. These include research and development institutes, universities, munitions and chemical production sites, chemical storage sites and pesticide, fertilizer and petrochemical related facilities with dual-use equipment or chemicals. The chemical teams use remote-controlled sensor systems installed at the most important sites under monitoring. There are at present 30 remote-controlled cameras at 6 chemical sites and 19 air samplers installed at 8 sites.

81. Nine additional air samplers and 10 portable sampling pumps for air sampling at facilities where sensors are not installed are currently available to the chemical monitoring team. To support the on-site analysis requirements, the chemical laboratory at the Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Centre has been equipped with a gas chromatography system with flame photometric detector and a mass selective detector to analyse the air samples. In addition the following equipment has been received by the chemical monitoring group in order to increase its analytical capabilities: a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer, a melting point determination device for laboratory use, an ultrasonic pulse echo system, and two types of hydrazine detection systems. The Spectrometer will be periodically used for air monitoring purposes as an immediate screening device at a number of industrial facilities and chemical storage sites.

82. Iraq's civilian chemical activities have increased considerably in the last two to three years. The Commission has undertaken several steps to double the analytical capabilities of its laboratory at the Baghdad Centre.

83. In the period under review, the chemical monitoring group uncovered several failures by Iraq in respect of compliance with the provisions of the Commission's plan for ongoing monitoring and verification. These incidents include finding undeclared dual-use chemicals and equipment. Each particular case was discussed with Iraq's authorities and acted upon by them.

V. BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES

A. Proscribed programmes

84. Since 1991, Iraq has presented six versions of its full, final and complete disclosure in the biological area. The first declaration of 1991, consisting of a few pages, denied any biological weapons programme or proscribed biological activities. This position was maintained up to and including in its FFCD of March 1995. In July 1995, after repeated statements by the Special Commission that Iraq's declarations were not credible, Iraq for the first time acknowledged an offensive biological weapons programme but still denied weaponization activities and any involvement of the military in the programme. Following the departure to Jordan of Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamel in August 1995, Iraq finally admitted weaponization and that the programme was much broader in scope than previously stated. Iraq incorporated these new disclosures into a draft FFCD submitted to the Commission in November 1995. This draft was assessed by the Commission as seriously flawed and a series of technical talks, seminars and inspections were conducted with the aim of helping Iraq to correct the deficiencies. These discussions resulted in a March 1996 draft and subsequently a May version. Although a number of improvements were incorporated, these declarations failed to provide any significant additional documentation, and in general lacked a coherent account consistent with information available to the Commission.

85. On 22 June 1996, the Government of Iraq submitted a declaration which it stated to contain its official FFCD on the proscribed biological weapons programme. This document of 622 pages was essentially a copy of the May draft. In early July, a biological team (UNSCOM 146/BW 36) began verification of this FFCD. The intent was to conduct, pursuant to the joint programme of action, interviews with personnel who had been involved in the weaponization of biological agents and filling and unilateral destruction of biological warfare munitions. Iraq refused to cooperate under the established interview procedures and the team's mission was terminated. A follow-up inspection scheduled for early August had to be postponed because of Iraq's failure to respond positively to the Commission's requirements for interviews. A subsequent effort to initiate these interviews was undertaken in September, after the visit by the Executive Chairman to Iraq in August. On that occasion, the Iraqi side showed willingness to cooperate with the team (UNSCOM 157/BW 40). The information gained from the interviews proved valuable, although not always in agreement with statements contained in the FFCD.

86. The current assessment is that the biological FFCD as written is not credible. Major sections are incomplete, inaccurate or unsubstantiated. Materials acquired for proscribed activities are understated. Biological warfare agent production figures are unsupported for the years 1987, 1988 and 1989. Expert estimates of production quantities of biological weapons agents, either by equipment capacity or by consumption of growth media, would far exceed declared amounts. Data on weapons field trials are inaccurate. Weapons and agent destruction is undocumented.

87. A lack of documentation to substantiate declarations on the critical areas of biological warfare agent and munitions production, weaponization and destruction is difficult to accept. Until Iraq is able to provide a full accounting of biological weapons produced and destroyed unilaterally, the Commission cannot report that such weapons and their components do not remain.

B. Monitoring activities

88. The biological monitoring system currently covers 86 sites. During the reporting period, over 152 visits have been carried out by the resident biological monitoring team.

89. The remote monitoring system, including cameras and sensors, is available for application. Three biological sites are currently equipped with some 10 cameras but more cameras will be added shortly to an additional 4 sites. Both real-time images and stored image videotapes are analysed and the information is integrated into the overall monitoring process.

90. In addition to monitoring teams, special inspection teams were also used to carry out inspections of critical sites under monitoring. Sampling operations were conducted. A mission to update remote monitoring surveillance has been performed. The objectives of these additional efforts were to undertake in-depth surveys of key biotechnology sites in Iraq, to assess the current monitoring regime and to identify new requirements. These activities form the basis for adjustments to the monitoring regime.

91. Overall, the monitoring system continued to function satisfactorily during the reporting period. However, in a number of instances Iraq has failed to carry out all of its obligations. Some of the required monitoring reports have not been accurate, nor have some of them been corrected, following requests from the monitoring teams. In a number of cases, substantial inconsistencies between declarations and the situation on the ground have been identified. These include an undeclared biological laboratory unit at Tuwaitha and undeclared key pieces of dual-use equipment. Twice in a short period of time, inventory tags disappeared from two different pieces of dual-use equipment. Iraq was reminded of the need to notify the Commission of any occurrences involving damage to tags. Since then, Iraq has started to address this issue in a positive manner.

92. The Commission agreed to a specific request from Iraq to exempt from the Al-Hakam destruction three industrial chillers for hospital use. These chillers were tagged at that time. One of the chillers was then transferred by Iraq from the site without the required 30-day notification for the movement of tagged equipment. When the Commission inquired further, Iraq stated that the chiller was to be used on the production lines at an industrial plant. This action clearly contradicted Iraq's commitment to use this equipment only in hospitals. The Commission had to place a camera to monitor the chiller at its new location to prevent its use for unauthorized purposes. On 17 September, Iraq sought permission to finally move all these chillers to hospitals.

93. Monitoring in the biological area has now been in place for a year and a half. The monitoring regime is built on the premise of Iraq's steady cooperation in all facets of monitoring, including precise accounting of ongoing activities, disclosure of all dual-use equipment, reporting of movement of inventoried equipment and timely notifications of changes that occur. Such accuracy and timeliness has become an issue which must be addressed by Iraq; otherwise the Commission will need to reconsider the basis of its current monitoring regime and more intrusive procedures may need to be introduced.

VI. MISSILE ACTIVITIES

A. Proscribed programmes

94. Following its admissions since August 1995, Iraq submitted a declaration containing its full, final and complete disclosure in the missile area in November 1995. It comprised more than 2,500 pages, together with a substantial amount of supporting documentation. The Special Commission's assessment of the document was outlined in its December 1995 report to the Security Council (S/1995/1038). As stated in that report, Iraq's accounting in the November 1995 FFCD did not appear to constitute a firm basis for establishing a definite and verifiable material balance for proscribed weapons and activities.

95. The Commission undertook to work closely with Iraq in order to assist it in identifying ways and means to make a future FFCD a complete and verifiable document. During 1996, the Commission sent a number of missions in order to present its assessments and concerns and jointly establish the best methods to achieve the speediest progress. In the course of this process, Iraq provided two more draft FFCDs, one in February and one in May 1996. Several hundred pages of new documentation were made available to the Commission that were helpful in addressing some of its concerns. While the February 1996 draft represented a significant improvement over the November 1995 document, the May 1996 version did not reflect the same level of progress. During discussions with the Commission's experts in May 1996, Iraq stated that all documents that could be found had been provided to the Commission. Nevertheless, the Commission's experts emphasized that Iraq must provide substantial evidence that would allow for the verifiable accounting of all missiles, launchers, propellants and major components.

96. Although the Commission wished to continue the cooperative process to resolve major gaps in the draft declarations so that subsequent verification would be speedy and smooth, Iraq decided to provide an official FFCD in the missile area. That document, submitted in July 1996, contained only minor changes to the May draft. During his August visit to Baghdad, the Executive Chairman outlined some of the Commission's concerns related to the official FFCD. These included, in particular, declarations on Iraq's unilateral destruction of proscribed items, the material balance of weapons and key components and some associated issues with proscribed programmes.

97. Pursuant to the joint programme of action, the Commission planned a series of verification efforts in the missile area. A mission was to go to Iraq in early August to start interviews with Iraqi officials. However, as a result of Iraq's refusal to accept meaningful modalities for interviews, the mission was cancelled. Since the issue of interview modalities had been settled during the Chairman's visit in August, the first missile verification inspection (UNSCOM 162/BM 43) took place from 20 to 24 September. Based on the priority issues identified in the joint programme of action, this initial mission was tasked to concentrate on the material balance and the issue of unilateral destruction. Two specific topics (one related to operational missiles and the other to equipment and components from project 1728, a major missile engine production programme in Iraq) were chosen as the subjects for verification by this team.

98. Based upon the results of the previous inspection activities and the analysis of information obtained from different sources, the Commission determined that Iraq's statements in the FFCD relevant to these two topics were not complete and in certain aspects were even misleading. The Commission has a specific concern that some key items that Iraq had declared as having been unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991 had in fact been diverted from destruction and concealed.

99. During the September mission, the team was able to carry out interviews under the modalities established by the Commission. The Commission obtained some detailed information on the collection, storage, transfer and destruction of proscribed items in 1991 and the beginning of 1992.

100. The team established that the majority of production tools and components from project 1728 and some missiles had been diverted by Iraq from destruction in July 1991. This diversion and concealment operation was not disclosed in the FFCD. However, in an official letter to the Commission dated 3 October 1996, Iraq admitted that all its major missile establishments had, in July 1991, been ordered to load important tools, dies and parts of key priority on trucks. Eleven trucks were turned over to two unidentified officers said to be relatives of Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamel. Iraq stated that, in March 1992, these materials had been unearthed at a site where they had been hidden, and destroyed. It claims that the remnants of those materials were shown to the Commission's teams late in 1992 but the history of their concealment was not admitted at that time. The Commission is currently investigating this new admission. The Commission still has serious concerns that not all diversion and concealment activities have been disclosed.

101. Iraq has also declared that three proscribed missiles had been diverted from unilateral destruction in July 1991, and were eventually destroyed in October 1991. The explanation for this diversion was given as the preservation of reference material for future activities to produce similar missiles. Additional evidence and documents are still required from Iraq to account fully for all proscribed missiles and other components of the operational missile force claimed to have been destroyed in 1991. The Commission has recently received a further letter from Iraq providing some additional details related to specific missiles destroyed after the adoption of resolution 687 (1991).

102. The Commission intends to continue verification of the missile FFCD following the priorities and methods laid down in the joint programme of action.

B. Monitoring activities

103. During the reporting period, the Commission continued its monitoring of missile activities that are not proscribed by the resolutions of the Council. The missile monitoring groups have conducted over 150 visits to the sites under monitoring. Over 80 per cent of these inspections were carried out on a no-notice basis. The Commission has continued to operate and improve its camera monitoring system at missile or dual-use facilities.

104. Also in the period under review, the Commission conducted one check of tags on Iraq's operational missiles currently under monitoring. Such activities are a part of the monitoring regime and are intended to certify that non-proscribed missiles have not been modified for proscribed ranges.

105. After August 1995, Iraq admitted that, since the adoption of resolution 687 (1991), it had carried out an undeclared programme to modify the Volga/SA2 surface-to-air missile system to a surface-to-surface application with a range of over 100 kilometres. At the initiation of the monitoring system in 1993, the Commission decided that it would be sufficient to monitor, including with cameras, sites where main maintenance activities were carried out on Volga systems. As Iraq's undisclosed programme comprised flight tests of this system, the Commission decided, in January 1996, to modify monitoring modalities to include tagging of all Volga missiles similar to other tagged missiles in Iraq.

106. Since April 1996, the Commission has undertaken three missions to tag Volga missiles. The tagging operations were carried out at sites designated by Iraq. Iraq provided the necessary support to the inspection teams. So far, the Commission has tagged nearly 90 per cent of Volga missiles identified by Iraq for tagging and plans to complete the tagging of the remaining missiles, as well as relevant spare parts, by the end of 1996.

VII. NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES

107. The Director General of IAEA is reporting separately on the activities of the action team established to implement paragraphs 12 and 13 of resolution 687 (1991) and the IAEA plan for ongoing monitoring and verification approved under resolution 715 (1991) (S/22782/Rev.1 and Corr.1).

108. The Special Commission continues, in accordance with paragraph 9 (b) (iii) of resolution 687 (1991) and paragraph 4 (b) of resolution 715 (1991), to provide assistance and cooperation to IAEA. These efforts are primarily through the provision of logistical and other operational support to carry out the IAEA plan for ongoing monitoring and verification. In accordance with paragraph 9 (b) (i) of the same resolution and in accordance with paragraph 4 (a) of resolution 715 (1991), the Commission continues to designate additional sites for inspection. Further, the Commission continues, in accordance with paragraph 4 (c) of resolution 715 (1991), to perform such other functions in the nuclear field, in cooperation with the Director General of IAEA, as may be necessary to coordinate activities under the plans for ongoing monitoring and verification. This includes the use of commonly available services and information to the fullest possible extent in order to achieve maximum efficiency and optimum use of resources.

109. During the current reporting period, the Commission, in accordance with paragraph 3 (iii) of resolution 707 (1991), has reviewed and concurred with a number of IAEA evaluations of Iraqi requests to relocate materials and equipment related to Iraq's nuclear programme or to use materials under seals. The Commission has provided airlift for the transport of IAEA inspectors and equipment into and out of Iraq. Helicopters were also provided for the transport of IAEA inspectors and equipment. The Commission also provided IAEA with working rooms and supporting facilities at the Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Centre.

110. The Commission's nuclear experts participated in the IAEA 30/UNSCOM 147 inspection conducted in May 1996, the purpose of which was to investigate material presented by Iraq in its draft declaration containing its full, final and complete disclosure of February 1996. Commission experts also participated in the normal ongoing monitoring and verification activities of IAEA in August and September 1996.

111. Multidisciplinary inspections have been conducted and additional missions of this sort are planned in the coming year to investigate further links that may have existed between the nuclear programme and the prohibited missile, chemical and biological weapons programmes in Iraq. Closer integration between the Commission's and IAEA's systems have been and continue to be implemented. Regular coordination meetings are held at Vienna and New York to exchange information and to plan multidisciplinary inspections. Commission experts regularly visit Vienna to update the IAEA photo library.

112. The Commission's nuclear experts participate in the nuclear aspects of the export/import monitoring mechanism for Iraq established under resolution 1051 (1996) by analysing the content of notification forms in coordination and cooperation with IAEA.

113. The Commission's experts continue to participate in the negotiations with the Russian Federation (which will resume shortly in Vienna) regarding the sale of the nuclear fuel removed from Iraq and reprocessed in the Russian Federation.

VIII. EXPORT/IMPORT MONITORING MECHANISM

114. On 27 March 1996, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1051 (1996), whereby it approved the export/import monitoring mechanism for Iraq, as called for under paragraph 7 of resolution 715 (1991). The export/ import mechanism is designed to ensure that the Special Commission and IAEA have timely information on the import to Iraq and export from Iraq of all items relevant to the respective mandates of the Commission and of IAEA. Although there has been no change in the status of the sanctions regime imposed on Iraq under resolution 661 (1990), it had been clear for some time that items relevant to the mandate established by the Council were being imported into the country or were destined for Iraq. Thus there was an immediate requirement to put the export/import mechanism in place, in order to ensure the comprehensiveness of the overall monitoring system of the Commission and of IAEA in Iraq.

115. Under the export/import mechanism, the import of items relevant to the mandate of the Commission and of IAEA is notified by both the Government of Iraq and the Government of the supplier. In resolution 1051 (1996) the Security Council called upon Iraq to implement the system within 60 days of the passage of the resolution, namely 26 May 1996. In advance of that date, the Government of Iraq was provided with the necessary documentation to implement the notification system and a mission composed of experts from the Commission and IAEA was dispatched to Baghdad to explain the requirements of the system. Concurrently, the first export/import monitoring group (EG-1) was established at the Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Centre to receive Iraq's notification forms and to take action, as required.

116. Since the inception of the system, the Government of Iraq has made a number of notifications concerning imports, principally of notifiable chemical-related materials. Commission and IAEA inspectors will continue to work with Iraq to ensure that the notification procedure is carried out in a practical manner which, at the same time, gives confidence that notifiable items are being brought in under the auspices of the overall monitoring system. In order to underpin this latter requirement, in May 1996, a second export/import team, EXIM-2, undertook inspections at facilities in Iraq associated with the import of goods. As with the first EXIM inspection, conducted in 1995, the inspection aimed at achieving a good understanding of the import system in practice in Iraq, and to adapt the export/import notification procedures accordingly. Further such inspections will be undertaken in order to ensure the efficacy of the notification system.

117. In order to receive and to process notifications of the export to Iraq of notifiable items, the Commission and IAEA have established a joint unit at United Nations Headquarters in New York. A computerized database system has been developed and made available by a Member State. The effective introduction of the mechanism and the provision of additional experts to staff the joint unit has been severely curtailed by the absence of office space, since the area made available to the Commission by the United Nations Secretariat in the Headquarters building has not increased since the inception of the Commission in 1991, despite the fact that the number of staff has trebled.

118. Resolution 1051 (1996) required notifications by Governments of suppliers of notifiable goods to be provided as from "the date the Secretary-General and the Director General of IAEA, after their consultations with the members of the Council and other interested States, report to the Council indicating that they are satisfied with the preparedness of States for the effective implementation of the mechanism". In order to facilitate this process, under circular note UNSCOM:E/I:CN1 (1996) of 7 May 1996, all States were provided with a two-volume handbook explaining the notification requirements and containing the necessary documentation.

119. On 18 July 1996, the Executive Chairman of the Commission wrote to the members of the Security Council and former major suppliers to Iraq noting that informal contacts with a number of States appeared to indicate that they were, or would shortly be, in a position to provide the necessary notifications. As a consequence, unless by 15 September 1996 the Commission received sufficient indications in writing that effective implementation of the system was not possible by that date, a recommendation would be made to the Secretary-General and the Director General of IAEA that they report to the Council that notifications should be provided commencing on 1 October 1996.

120. Only one Government indicated its unreadiness but noted that it would inform the Secretary-General when it would commence providing notifications. In the light of this, the Secretary-General and the Director General of IAEA advised the President of the Security Council that the system would come into effect on 1 October 1996 (S/1996/805). This decision was transmitted to all States by circular note UNSCOM:E/I:CN2 (1996) dated 30 September 1996. Thus, this important element of the Commission's and IAEA's ongoing monitoring and verification system is now in place.

IX. OTHER ACTIVITIES

A. Finance and material support

121. The Special Commission is not financed from assessed contributions to the United Nations. In the main, the cash requirements of the Commission have been met through funds released from the escrow account established under resolution 778 (1992) for the receipt of Iraqi frozen assets. In addition, the Commission has received some voluntary contributions from a number of States. To date the Commission has spent close to $120 million from these two main sources since its beginnings in 1991.

122. The Commission's cash requirements come in addition to the generous assistance provided by Governments through the provision of aircraft, facilities, equipment, materials and expert personnel. If given a monetary value, this "in-kind" assistance would amount to approximately twice that of the Commission's cash expenditures. The contribution made by the Government of Bahrain in providing facilities for the Commission's field offices in Bahrain is particularly noteworthy.

123. The Commission has received no new cash contributions to its operating budget for more than six months. Available resources will be depleted by the end of 1996. In resolution 986 (1995), the Security Council called for funds expected to be available under that resolution to be used, in part, to finance the current operating costs of the Commission. The Commission had hoped that the implementation of the resolution would ensure, at least for a limited period, that the Commission was put on a sound financial footing.

124. Unless resolution 986 (1995) is implemented before the end of the year, the Commission will be unable to meet its operating costs starting January 1997 and will have to curtail and commence shutting down its activities in Iraq. The Commission therefore remains concerned about its precarious financial situation. The Commission hopes that the members of the Council and other States will continue to support the Commission in cash and in kind to ensure that it is able to carry out its activities uninterrupted.

125. The situation with regard to office space in New York is becoming untenable. Special security concerns relate to all aspects of the Commission's work and necessitate that the Executive Office remains located in the Secretariat building. As noted in paragraph 117 above, the Commission remains constrained by the lack of additional office space required to ensure that resolution 1051 (1996), which established the export/import monitoring mechanism, is implemented fully in accordance with the Security Council's wishes. Additional secure space, which is essential for the effective operation of this commercially sensitive mechanism, has not been made available.

B. Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Centre and operations

126. The Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Centre has now been in existence for some two years. During that period, substantial efforts have been made to adapt the premises to meet the requirements necessary to support the six resident monitoring teams as well as short-term inspection teams. These efforts have included reorganizing the structural layout of the areas used by the Commission and IAEA, installation of equipment to support technical areas, such as the aerial inspection team's photographic laboratory and the chemical sample analysis laboratory. The communications system in the centre has been upgraded and the number of external telephone lines increased to support secure communications, principally to the Commission's headquarters in New York and to the IAEA action team in Vienna. Much of this has been made possible by the supply of materials and expertise from supporting Governments.

127. The infrastructure to support the remote camera monitoring system has been improved. In the field, the camera system has been refurbished to provide a more robust and reliable transmission capability as well as to simplify the maintenance of recording equipment. The communication system has improved with an expansion of the repeater network which now allows inspectors to contact the Baghdad centre directly from a radius of 75 kilometres, using only hand-held radios. Overall, while improvements and modifications will continue to be undertaken, the centre is now well equipped in most areas to meet the requirements of all inspection teams, even on occasions, as has happened over the reporting period, when the number of inspectors in the country totalled more than 150 personnel.

128. However, the Commission's vehicles used in the field now need to be replaced and their number needs to be augmented in order to support the growing transport requirements of monitoring and short-term inspection teams.

129. The Commission had to suspend its air operations for a short period of time in early September, owing to safety concerns associated with regional tensions. Helicopter flights resumed on 11 September and C-160 flights on 21 September. Nevertheless, other inspection activity in Iraq, principally by the resident monitoring teams, continued throughout the period.

130. The imagery provided by the Commission's high-altitude surveillance aircraft (U-2) and the Baghdad-based aerial inspection team continues to be essential for the monitoring regime and for the investigation of new sites. To date over 700 missions have been undertaken by the aerial inspection team and 316 missions by the U-2.

X. CONCLUSIONS

131. Throughout the present report, the Special Commission has sought to provide a factual overview of developments since the initiation of the implementation of section C of resolution 687 (1991). The Commission believes that when the Security Council is to take stock of the remaining problems, it may wish to do so in the context of the accomplishments regarding the accounting for and disposal of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and proscribed missiles.

132. Since the outset in April 1991, many proscribed weapons and weapons capabilities have been identified and destroyed. In the present report, the Commission has outlined progress achieved in accounting for chemical and biological weapons and missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres, as well as related proscribed components, equipment and facilities. The destruction of large chemical weapons stocks and of the sprawling biological weapons facility at Al Hakam, the neutralization of wide-ranging and diverse missile capabilities as well as the creation of a unique and effective monitoring and verification system are tangible examples of accomplishments over five and a half years. For a large part of this period, however, as described in the report, policies and actions of concealment practised by the Iraqi authorities have put obstacles in the way of rapid completion of the implementation tasks.

133. The Commission has therefore yet not reached the stage where it can state with confidence that everything that is proscribed to Iraq has been identified and disposed of. It continues to believe that limited, but highly significant quantities may remain, as Iraq has not been able to account for a number of proscribed missiles and certain high-quality chemical and biological warfare agents and related capabilities which it had acquired. The Commission's information indicates that Iraq has still not told the full story of its weapons programmes and handed over all its proscribed weapons materials and capabilities for final disposal.

134. During the period under review, the Commission has made special efforts to expedite the process of clarifying the remaining problems and bringing to an end the concealment of proscribed items. The road thus travelled by the Commission has been a rocky one, as the members of the Security Council cannot have failed to observe. The Council has on repeated occasions acted in firm support of the Commission and its inspection teams. This has had a noticeable effect and may also have served the long-term interests of Iraq as the Council's unanimous support for progress with the implementation has led to some important headway.

135. The most positive and promising development during the period has been the dialogue and agreements at the political level between the Commission and the Government of Iraq leading to mutual undertakings on such crucial issues as access to sites for inspection and interviews as well as to the establishment of a joint programme of action, containing an outline of priority tasks to be accomplished, as originally proposed in the Commission's April 1996 report to the Security Council. This programme sets a realistic agenda for the future and establishes a well-defined framework for a constructive dialogue which has already shown its usefulness. It still remains for the spirit of that political-level dialogue to penetrate to the operational and working level in Iraq, so that instances of blockages, denials and concealment may be brought to an end. This report gives ample evidence of such obstacles to progress.

136. A very positive development during the last six months has been the initiation of the full export/import notification procedures. Almost the entire structure and system called for by the relevant Security Council resolutions for the discharge of the mandates given to the Commission and IAEA are now finally in place. Only one important element remains: the enactment by Iraq of the national implementation measures required under the monitoring plans approved by the Council in resolution 715 (1991). While frequently promised, Iraq has not yet introduced these measures, a failure which Iraq can easily remedy if it is to avoid an impediment in the full implementation of section C of resolution 687 (1991).

137. In the period under review, Iraq has finally presented the Commission with declarations which it states to contain its full, final and complete disclosures of all aspects of its programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres and of all holdings of such weapons, their components and production facilities and locations. The Commission's initial assessments indicate that further work is required. The joint programme of action provides the means for speedy verification of these declarations if Iraq cooperates fully at all levels to that end.

138. Thus, at this time, there exists the necessary framework and machinery and the Government of Iraq has officially made the necessary political undertakings to permit an early resolution of the problems which remain in connection with its proscribed programmes. What is primarily required is a dedicated and honest commitment by Iraq, implemented on all levels, to a course of full cooperation and transparency if the stage is to be reached in the near future where the Commission would be able to report that, in its view, Iraq has carried out the actions required of it under section C of resolution 687 (1991). The Commission has developed detailed operational plans to this end and stands ready to bring all its resources to bear to achieve such an outcome. However, Iraq will have

to demonstrate that it has decided to commit itself to a wholehearted and sincere determination to comply with all the provisions of section C of resolution 687 (1991).