The United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) was the creature created by UNSC resolution 1284 of 17 December 1999. It replaced the older UNSCOM and all its direct staff were all UN employees - except for the various spies / agents of the Coalition of Potential Aggressors. It was mandated to verify Iraq's compliance with its obligation to be rid of its weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological weapons and missiles with a range of more than 150 km), and to operate a system of ongoing monitoring and verification to ascertain that Iraq does not reacquire the same weapons prohibited to it by the Security Council.
The precise but publicity happy Dr. Hans Blix of Sweden was the first Executive Chairman -1st March 2000 to 30 June 2003. On 1 July 2003, Mr. Demetrius Perricos (now aged 71 was asked by Kofi Annan to take on the job for 6 months) as Acting Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC by the UN Secretary General.
UNMOVIC inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq in March 2003 - their most recent report (The 29th Qtly report - and probably their last) was presented on 29th May 2007. (PDF alert!) They are now down to 17 staff in new York and 2 local staff in Baghdad ( who “continue to perform routine maintenance on the office support equipment” - dusting the typewriters ? ) and the only activity reported is that 2 technical staff visited the Cyprus field office at the UK Sovereogn base in Larnaca in March to inspect equipment held there.
Therefore it is no surprise that the NYT reports today that the US and UK Governments have proposed to “terminate immediately the mandates” of the UNMOVIC weapons inspectors.A draft resolution is circulating which does not accept retaining any staff or resources. Apparently this has been accepted by Security Council Members (including Russia) and staff meetings on the latest proposal have already taken place.
Any decision about the commission’s future will need to deal with the disposition of the large, unusual and significant archive - containing no doubt detailed information that some Government quarters who traded with Saddam might wish to be incinerated / destroyed.
So far the Belgian ambassador, who holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council, has scheduled more debate for the end of the month. At the same time the commission says it will release a 1,200-page compendium on Iraq’s illicit weapons program that could be the final word from the group.
So, what was effectively a vehicle to allow spying on Saddam, by the likes of Scott Ritter and Dr David Kelly will be quietly wound up and their records - 1,500 feet of paper files and a terabyte of electronic records will be trashed.
Nobody wants any future (or present) academics poking around in that lot.
It is worth remembering exactly what happened about the evidence of WMD's...
"Richard Dearlove, the Head of MI6, told Hoon and others at the war council on July 23, 2002:
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.Hoon says nothing however about the July 23, 2002 war council whose deliberations are recorded in the Downing Street Memo. In fact, he has the gall to pretend that we don't know what he was told at that meeting......
Mr Hoon also expressed regret over the government's claim in the run-up to war that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, which, he now accepts, turned out to be false. He said he had "gradually come to the acceptance" the weapons did not exist. But he insisted the government had acted in good faith.It is also worthwhile remembering what Hans Blix had repeatedly reported before the illegal invasion...
He still does not understand why the intelligence proved to be false. "I've been present at a number of meetings where the intelligence community was fixed, and looked in the eye and asked are you absolutely sure about this? And the answer came back 'Yes, absolutely sure'."
Mr Hoon added: "I saw intelligence from the first time I came into office, in May 1999 - week in, week out - that said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction ... I have real difficulty in understanding why it was, over such a long period of time, we were told this and, moreover, why we acted upon it."
"U.N. reports submitted to the Security Council before the war by Hans Blix, former chief U.N. arms inspector, and Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency, have been largely validated by U.S. weapons teams. The common findings:Of course ...nobody wants to keep any records about that.
Iraq's nuclear weapons program was dormant.
No evidence was found to suggest Iraq possessed chemical or biological weapons. U.N. officials believe the weapons were destroyed by U.N. inspectors or Iraqi officials in the years after the 1991 Gulf War."
If you want to read how the current Baghdad Gubment raidied the UNMOVIC piggy Bank to buy a new UN office (nearer to the UN) whilst holding onto their prime piece of Manhattan real estate go to Max News Iraqis Use U.N. Money to Enhance NYC Real Estate Portfolio