World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Weapons inspections in Iraq

Weapons inspections in Iraq

An Australian, Dr Bill Jolley, will serve as chief weapons inspector on the first inspections team in Iraq under the new UN Security Council Resolution, UNSC 1441, Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer and Defence Minister Robert Hill announced today.

Several other Australians - all current Defence personnel - are likely to join the first United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) inspections team at a later date.

The arrangement follows news that Iraq has told the UN that it will cooperate with the new resolution.

UNMOVIC draws on a roster of inspectors from around the world. Australians with relevant experience are also likely to participate in International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection teams.

Dr Jolley has been working with UNMOVIC in New York on leave from Defence. He will be part of the team due in Iraq on 25 November and will be chief weapons inspector for one month from 3 December.

Several Defence personnel will be released from duties for three months to undertake weapons inspections in Iraq.

The Australian inspectors will be serving as UN employees and not as a national contingent. They have previously received comprehensive training in weapons inspection from UNMOVIC. They have also signed confidentiality agreements with UNMOVIC and will not be available for media comment.

Their extensive training overseas included disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation issues as well as familiarisation with the entire inspection procedure and policies applicable to weapons of mass destruction.

Australians have a long and commendable track record of conducting weapons inspections in a professional manner during conflicts in the Middle East. They have been involved in inspections of chemical and biological weapons during the Iran-Iraq war and post-Gulf War under the United Nations Special Commission, replaced by UNMOVIC.

Australia has told UNMOVIC and the IAEA that we will support them in whatever way we can, consistent with our proud history of contributing to international disarmament and non-proliferation efforts.

Saddam Hussein accepted resolution 1441 only with an assertion that Iraq does not possess weapons of mass destruction. This is not the case to the best of our knowledge. Robust inspections will enable this issue to be tested.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


The Gili Islands: A Community Earthquake Recovery Effort

Joseph Cederwall travelled to the Gili Islands in October 2018 to talk to locals about their experiences of the event and witness the impact and the rebuild efforts on this unique ecotourism destination. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Ongoing Carnage In Gaza

The past month has devoted a lot of space to the best music and films of 2018, and far less to the past year’s human rights violations. The under-reporting on the ongoing carnage in Gaza has been a case in point. More>>


New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink
Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>


Deal On Paris Implementation: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>