1. Full and effective disarmament in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions remains the imperative objective of the international community.
Our priority should be to achieve this peacefully through the inspection regime.
The military option should only be a last resort.
So far, the conditions for using force against Iraq are not fulfilled:
While suspicions remain, no evidence has been given that Iraq still possesses weapons of mass destruction or capabilities in this field:
- Inspections have just reached their full pace; they are functioning without hindrance; they have already produced results;
- While not yet fully satisfactory, Iraqi co-operation is improving, as mentioned by the chief inspectors in their last report.
2. The Security Council must step up its efforts to give a real chance to the peaceful settlement of the crisis.
In this context, the following conditions are of paramount importance:
- The unity of the Security Council must be preserved.
- The pressure that is put on Iraq must be increased.
3. These conditions can be met, and our common objective - the verifiable disarmament of Iraq - can be reached through the implementation of the following proposals:
A) Clear program of action for the inspections:
According to resolution 1284, the UN Monitoring and Verification Commission (Unmovic) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have to submit their program of work for approval of the Council.
The presentation of this program of work should be speeded up, in particular the key remaining disarmament tasks to be completed by Iraq pursuant to its obligations to comply with the disarmament requirements of resolution 687 (1991) and other related resolutions.
The key remaining tasks shall be defined according to their degree of priority. What is required of Iraq for implementation of each task shall be clearly defined and precise.
Such a clear identification of tasks to be completed will oblige Iraq to co-operate more actively.
It will also provide a clear means for the Council to assess the co-operation of Iraq.
B) Reinforced inspections:
Resolution 1441 established an intrusive and reinforced system of inspections.
In this regard, all possibilities have not yet been explored.
Further measures to strengthen inspections could include, as exemplified in the French non-paper previously communicated to the chief inspectors, the following: - increase and diversification of staff an expertise
- establishment of mobile units designed in particular to check on trucks
- completion of the new system of aerial surveillance
- systematic processing of data provided by the newly established system of aerial surveillance.
C) Timelines for inspections and assessment:
Within the framework of resolution 1284 and 1441, the implementation of the program of work shall be sequenced according to a realistic and rigorous timeline:
- the inspectors should be asked to submit the program of work outlining the key substantive tasks for Iraq to accomplish, including missiles/delivery systems, chemical weapons/precursors, biological weapons/material and nuclear weapons in the context of the report due March 1.
- the chief inspectors shall report to the council on implementation of the program of work on a regular basis (every 3 weeks).
- a report of Unmovic and IAEA assessing the progress made in completing the tasks shall be submitted by the inspectors 120 days after the adoption of the program of work according to resolution 1284.
- at any time, according to paragraph 11 of resolution 1441, the executive chairman of Unmovic and the director general of the IAEA shall report immediately to the Council any interference by Iraq with inspections activities as well as failure by Iraq to comply with its disarmament obligations;
- at any time, additional meetings of the Security Council could be decided, including at high level.
To render possible a peaceful solution inspections should be given the necessary time and resources.
However, they can not continue indefinitely. Iraq must disarm. Its full and active co-operation is necessary.
This must include the provision of all the additional and specific information on issues raised by the inspectors as well as compliance with their requests, as expressed in particular in Mr Blix' letter of February 21 2003.
The combination of a clear program of action, reinforced inspections, a clear timeline and the military build-up provide a realistic means to reunite the Security Council and to exert maximum pressure on Iraq.