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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 40, September - October 1999

Richard Butler Testimony on Iraq

Prepared Statement by Richard Butler, Diplomat-in-Residence at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York, former Executive Chairman of the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM), to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Washington, September 28, 1999.

"Eight years ago, following the expulsion of Iraq from Kuwait, the Security Council of the United Nations passed resolutions relating to the disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and sanctions. …

What has been the practical experience?

Iraq's actions may be summed up as having three main characteristics. In the first instance, its declarations were never complete. From the beginning, Iraq embarked upon a policy of making false declarations. Secondly, Iraq divided its illegal weapons holdings into two parts - the portion it would reveal and the portion it decided to conceal. Thirdly, to mask its real weapons of mass destruction capability, Iraq also embarked on a program of unilateral destruction of a portion of its weapons. Finally, it refused to comply with the resolutions of the Security Council, in very many ways, so that the Commission was never able to exercise the rights spelled out for it in the resolutions of the Security Council.

In practical terms, this has meant that the job of disarming Iraq, which should have taken about a year, is still not complete. …"

Mr Butler's Testimony is available from the United States Information Service website: http://www.usia.gov/products/washfile.intrel.html

Source: Text - Former UNSCOM Chief Butler's Senate Testimony on Iraq Sept. 28, United States Information Service, September 28.

© 1999 The Acronym Institute.

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