United
Nations



Distr.
GENERAL

S/1998/176
27 February 1998

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


LETTER DATED 19 FEBRUARY 1998 FROM THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF THE

SPECIAL COMMISSION ESTABLISHED BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL PURSUANT

TO PARAGRAPH 9 (b) (i) OF SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 687 (1991)

ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL





I have the honour to refer to the letter which I addressed to the President of the Security Council on 17 December 1997 (S/1997/987) setting out the results of the visit I made to Baghdad from 12 to 16 December 1997.



I invite attention, in particular, to paragraph 38 of that report (S/1997/987, annex) setting out the modalities for the conduct of technical evaluation meetings agreed to by the Commission and by Iraq as follows:



"(a) The Executive Chairman would invite qualified objective international experts to take part and participate in the Commission's team. They would be chosen from the countries having the necessary expertise;



"(b) The Commission would prepare a dossier for the team containing all the relevant information. The dossier would be made available to the Iraqi side to enable it to respond to relevant questions at the technical evaluation meeting;



"(c) The discussions at the meetings would be conducted in an open and continuous manner in order to enable joint evaluation of technical issues;



"(d) The Commission's team would advise the Executive Chairman on its findings as a result of the meetings. The Executive Chairman would then incorporate these findings in appropriate reports to the Security Council and the Government of Iraq."



The Commission had agreed to these meetings in view of Iraq's claims that it had destroyed and/or no longer had any weapons of mass destruction and, where there was disagreement between the Commission and Iraq on these issues of substance, those disagreements should be settled in technical "seminars" with the participation of both international and Iraqi experts.



I wish to inform the Council that the first two technical evaluation meetings have now been concluded. The first of these meetings, related to the accounting for Iraq's special warheads for biological and chemical weapons, was held in Baghdad from 1 to 6 February 1998. The second meeting, related to Iraq's activities in connection with the chemical agent VX, also took place in Baghdad, from 2 to 6 February 1998. The results of both these meetings have now been transmitted to me. As will be seen from the paragraph in my letter of 17 December 1997 quoted above, I undertook to incorporate the findings in appropriate reports to the Security Council and the Government of Iraq.



I am now submitting herewith the body of the two reports, together with the conclusions in full (see enclosures I and II, respectively). There are two annexes attached to each report, one containing the list of participants and the second the remarks made by Iraq in the context of the outline of the conclusions which was conveyed to the Iraqi participants by the Commission's expert teams prior to their final formulation. I am also transmitting a copy of this letter with the same attachments today to the Government of Iraq.





(Signed) Richard BUTLER