Cablegate: Chemical Weapons Convention (Cwc): Wrap-Up of The

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A


This is CWC-124-04.


1. (U) The U.S. achieved its one essential goal at the
October 12-15 Executive Council session -- unanimous approval
of the proposed technical change to allow for Libyan
conversion of the Rabta facility. The issue dominated EC-38,
with a record 26 delegations asking to make opening
statements and all noting the technical change. The concerns
of India and Pakistan were addressed through extensive
consultations with the U.S., UK, Italian, Libyan and Tunisian
delegations. The coordinated effort, led by the U.S.,
ultimately convinced Russia, the remaining hold-out, to
finally sign on (see paras 17-23). The actual conversion
request regarding Rabta and the combined plans for
destruction and verification of the Rabta factories and
Libyan mobile units were deferred to an upcoming special EC
session, currently set for November 24.

2. (U) The technical change thoroughly dominated the EC-38
discussions to the exclusion of progress on other issues.
There was no agreement on the 2005 budget, which will be
raised at the special EC session with a view to setting the
stage for agreement on the margins of the November Conference
of States Parties (CSP). Work will continue on a draft
document for annual submissions on national programs related
to protective purposes with the intention of reaching
agreement at the CSP. Unexpectedly, there was heated
discussion on a call by many delegations for the
establishment of a committee to address numerous complaints
about status and privileges matters under discussion with the
Dutch government. End Summary.

AGENDA ITEM 3 - Statement by the DG

3. (U) DG Pfirter began his statement by noting that the
Rabta conversion request and the associated technical change
were the most important issues facing EC-38. Passage of the
technical change, stressed the DG, would be a great service
to the future of universal adherence to the CW Convention.
And as the Rabta facility would produce low-cost
pharmaceuticals of particular importance to Africa and
developing nations, the conversion would also serve as a
humanitarian gesture.

4. (U) The DG noted the "lean" programme and budget for 2005
that he had forwarded for consideration. He promised to
provide further information required by States Parties
involved in budget negotiations and suggested that he would
be willing to make some adjustments to his budget proposals
in due course. In a later intervention, he urged SPs to
factor in the additional costs to the Technical Secretariat
(TS) necessitated by the implementation of the tenure policy.
The DG stated that the TS might be required to use the
Working Capital Fund before the end of the year if the
organization does not receive assessed contributions (read:
U.S.) or reimbursements for Article IV and V inspections.
The DG also highlighted developments in verification
activities, industry inspections, and universality efforts.

AGENDA ITEM 4 - General Debate

5. (U) Twenty-six speakers took part in the general debate.
Most focused on several recurring themes: the Rabta
conversion request and associated technical change; support
for Results Based Budgeting (RBB) but with varying positions
on the budget itself; support for work on universality of the
CWC; strong support (amongst NAM countries) for an increase
in funding of international cooperative assistance (ICA);
increased destruction activities and meeting destruction
deadlines; and a proposed increase in inspections of other
chemical production facilities (WEOG countries supporting and
the NAM opposing). The Netherlands (speaking for the EU),
Sudan (speaking for the African Union), Japan, Iran, and
South Africa all made reference to the problem of late
payments by "certain" member states. All delegations, with
the exception of Russia and initially Pakistan, spoke in
favor of the Rabta technical change.

AGENDA ITEM 5 - Status of Implementation
of the Convention

6. (U) The EC noted the supplement to the 2003 Verification
Implementation Report (VIR). The U.S. took the floor to
thank the TS for improving the VIR reporting process and
stated that the U.S. would provide additional comments on the
supplement. The EC also expressed its concern that only a
small number of SPs had submitted annual declaration on past
activities for 2003 on time, and urged all SPs to meet their
obligations regarding annual declarations in a timely manner.
The EC also noted the document on the status of requests for
clarification of declaration-related information for 2003.
The U.S. obtained the clarifications requested in reftel and
will provide information separately to Washington.

AGENDA ITEM 6 - Report of the EC

7. (U) The EC approved the report on the performance of its
activities from 28 June 2003 to 2 July 2004.

AGENDA ITEM 7 - Progress report on
Implementation of the Article VII Action Plan

8. (U) The EC noted the second progress report regarding
activities under the Action Plan for Article VII. The
facilitator, Mark Matthews (UK) reviewed the status of
consultations, bilateral efforts of SPs, and TS workshops and
seminars focusing on national implementing legislation.
Matthews requested, and the EC approved, authorization to
review Article VII status directly to the CSP in November.
The U.S. pressed to have the recommendations of the report
incorporated into a separate recommendation to the CSP.
Several other SPs spoke in support of efforts to improve the
status of implementation of Article VII, including Russia,
Japan, and Iran. India, in particular, noted support for
Article VII efforts, but voiced disappointment over progress
achieved thus far and questioned what plans exist to
determine how to review the status of implementation at the
tenth CSP.

--------------------------------------------- -
AGENDA ITEM 8 - Progress report on
Implementation of the universality action plan
--------------------------------------------- -

9. (U) The EC noted the progress report on the
implementation of the action plan for universality.
Facilitator Hela Lahmar (Tunisia) summarized the informal
consultations held in July and October 2004. Lahmar noted
that 15 countries have nominated Points of Contact (POC), and
that she expected the EU to nominate a POC shortly. She also
stated that the External Relations Division was developing a
calendar of activities in 2005. The U.S. noted the generally
poor communications between the TS and SPs to date and
expressed concern that the TS has not interacted with POCs.
The U.S. recommended that the TS work on a strategic approach
to target specific subregions, which should be shared with
POCs and others interested. Japan recommended that the TS
focus its efforts on smaller sub-regional events in the key
African and Middle Eastern areas. Japan also recommended
that the TS invite States not Party to attend CSP-9 as

--------------------------------------------- -
AGENDA ITEM 9 - Effectiveness of
verification activities and their optimization
--------------------------------------------- -

10. (U) The EC noted the status report on optimization of
verification. The U.S. stated that it is pleased with the
report, but added that due to its late publication, the U.S.
reserves the right to return to it at a future date.

AGENDA ITEM 10 - Report on progress
in meeting revised deadlines for
destruction of chemical weapons

11. (U) Possessor states made brief reports during the EC
discussion, drawing on the points made at the October 11
destruction informals. As at the informal donors meeting on
October 11, some delegations requested that Russia provide a
more complete and written report of the changes taking place
with its destruction program. Russia declined, saying it was
already providing an abundance of information and not see the
need to be subject to further reporting requirements. In
reality, and as usual, the briefings offered by Russia on
various occasions during the week were long on pictures and
short on useful information.

AGENDA ITEM 11 - Detailed plans
for the destruction of chemical weapons

12. (U) The agreed detailed plan for the verification of
destruction of CW at Aberdeen was deferred to the next EC

AGENDA ITEM TWELVE - Combined plans for
the destruction or conversion and
verification of CW production facilities

13. (U) The Council approved the two Russian combined plans
for verification of conversion of the DF production facility
and the facility for preparation for filling of non-chemical
parts, both at Volgograd. Regarding the DF facility, the
Russian experts from Moscow confirmed that the four pieces of
specialized equipment in question (tanks 115 1-4) had been
destroyed between September 2001 and March 2002. (Note: The
TS also confirmed that all demilitarization activities at the

DF facility had been completed.) The TS affirmed that the
Russian description of the disposition of commercial
equipment at the former DF facility (now used for storage) is
correct. Jerry Mazur of the Verification Branch indicated
that roughly two years ago, Russia originally intended to
mothball the cypermethrin line with little modification, but
that the TS insisted that Russia make significant changes in
how the commercial equipment is "stored," including
wholescale rearranging of items, in addition to those
measures previously described by Russia and the TS.
(Comment: These two documents complete EC consideration and
approval of Russian combined plans for conversion, and, in
the case of these two facilities, should lead to the TS
certifying conversion in the near future. End Comment.)

14. (U) The EC adopted the U.S. combined plan for destruction
and verification of the DF production and fill facility at
Pine Bluff Arsenal.

15. (U) At the request of Russia, the Council deferred, until
a special EC scheduled for 24 November 2004, the three Libyan
combined plans for destruction and verification of the CWPF
Rabta Pharmaceutical Factory 1 (phase 1); Rabta
Pharmaceutical Factory 2 (phase 1); and Tripoli STO-001
mobile filling units, citing the short time frame for review.
The delay was also attributed to ongoing discussions with
experts on the margins of the EC. Earlier in the week, the
TS prepared three corrigenda based on FRG comments to the

three plans. U.S. experts met several times with Libyan CW
experts and the TS to address and resolve its questions and
comments to the plans, which resulted in a second draft
corrigenda for each of the documents. The second corrigenda,
which also include Russian comments, will be published

16. (U) The EC noted the DG's report on the conduct of annual
inspection activities by the TS detailing the progress made
at CWPFs that are still under conversion.

AGENDA ITEM 13 - Conversion of CWPFs
for purposes not prohibited under
the Convention

17. (U) On the most closely watched issue of the session, the
Council succeeded in reaching a consensus decision to
recommend to all SPs adoption of Libya's proposal to make a
change to Part V of the Verification Annex in order to permit
Libya and other SPs that join the CWC after 29 April 2003 to
request conversion of former CWPFs. Close and effective
cooperation between, inter alia, the U.S., UK, Libyan,
Italian, and Tunisian delegations succeeded in bringing into
the fold the remaining holdouts, most notably Russia, and
orchestrating widespread voices of support throughout the

18. (SBU) During the general debate on October 12, nearly all
of the 26 delegations that made statements, covering all
geographic regions, offered strong support for the Libyan
proposal, with only Russia objecting. In order to fully
isolate Russia, the U.S., UK, Libyan and Tunisian dels held
negotiations with India and Pakistan on October 12 to resolve
lingering concerns about the format and content of what
ultimately evolved into a stand-alone EC draft decision
document, officially presented to the EC by Tunisia.
(Comment: The Pakistani representative proved to be the most
obnoxious interlocutor, continuing to insist privately that
he believed this was not truly a technical change but was
willing to go along for political reasons. Until the end, he
worked to water down EC decision text affirming the
correctness of using the technical change process. End

19. (SBU) By the time the proposal was formally taken up by
the EC on October 13, only Russia continued to object to
pursuing a technical change, arguing that the CSP should
instead take a stand-alone decision to permit Libya to
convert. Again, roughly 20 delegations, covering all
regions, spoke up in support of the proposal. Prompted by
the Libyan, Tunisian, and UK delegations, Sudan, regional
coordinator of the Africa Group, raised the prospect of a
possible vote on the issue if consensus could not be reached
by the end of the week, in order to further increase the
pressure on the Russian del to seek new instructions from
Moscow. Prompted by the U.S. and UK, the TS Legal Advisor,
Amb. Onate, expressed his view to the EC that the deadline on
conversion in paragraph 72 of Part V could not be bypassed by
a separate CSP decision, as proposed by the Russians.

20. (SBU) On October 14, Russia informed the U.S. del that
it could join consensus on the proposal with the addition of
treaty text to the decision document that affirmed the basic
obligation to destroy CWPFs and that conversions may be
requested only in exceptional cases of compelling need
(ironic given Russia's past requests to convert 16 of 24
facilities). Once Russia was on board and revised text was
circulated to EC members, the proposal was quickly adopted on
the afternoon of October 14, much to the relief of many
delegations who feared the possibility of a vote. It is
worth noting that at no time during the EC was it suggested
that the actual text of the proposed technical change be

21. (SBU) (Comment: The basis for Russia's objections to the
proposal remains unclear. At no point did the Russian del
seek a "deal," by asking for concessions on other issues,
such as the handling of Russian conversions. During frequent
contact with the U.S. del, both in the run-up to and during
the EC session, the Russian del offered numerous, and
oftentimes contradictory, arguments to support its position,
clearly giving the impression that the problem was in Moscow.
It appears probable that Russia's position resulted from a
combination of a lack of higher level political oversight,
stubbornly held views among CWC implementers in capital about
how the treaty should function, resentment at U.S. support
for Libyan conversion in contrast to perceived U.S.
obstruction of Russian conversion, and concerns about making
it too easy for future SPs to gain approval to convert. In
the end, the combination of entrenched support among a wide
geographic range, Russia's early isolation during the
session, the absence of any direct Russian equity in the
issue, the evisceration of the legal basis for Russia's
alternative approach, and the threat of a vote appears to
have "motivated" officials in Moscow to get out of the way of
what had become a moving train before it ran over them. End

22. (SBU) Regarding next steps, the EC Chairman, supported by
the TS, is responsible for notifying all States Parties of
the EC's recommendation, thereby starting the 90-day silence
procedure for final adoption of the proposal. The UK and
U.S. dels suggested to TS officials that additional copies of
the original Libyan proposal and DG evaluation should be
sent, together with the EC recommendation, to facilitate
consideration by States Parties. The U.S., UK, Italian and
Tunisian dels agreed that a low-key approach should be taken
in regards to the silence procedure, based on the view that
aggressively promoting the proposal could draw unwanted
attention to the issue. Delegations agreed to recommend to
capitals that all posts should be notified of the EC's
recommendation and be furnished with contingency points in
case host governments raise any questions. Dels in The Hague
would keep in contact with regional coordinators to watch out
for possible troublemakers. Libya indicated it would be a
little more proactive about seeking support among SPs, but
would avoid making the "hard sell."
23. (SBU) The one exception is Germany, which, despite the
objections of the U.S. and EU members, made an unhelpful
statement following EC approval of the proposal indicating
that it may have to object during the 90-day period if the
Bundestag was unable to sign off on the change before it
recesses in December. Dels agreed to recommend that capitals
demarche Berlin to make every effort to secure Parliamentary
approval, and therefore avoid having to raise an objection,
with the Libyans indicating that they will seek to raise this
issue with Chancellor Schroeder during an upcoming visit to

24. (U) The EC, at the request of Russia, deferred the
Libyan conversion request for the Rabta Pharmaceutical
Factories 1 and 2 CWPFs until the special EC scheduled for 24
November. Russia cited the size of the document and lack of
time provided to the EC to review the document, and further
stated that the complex document was only available in
English. Earlier in the week, U.S. experts met with Libyan
CW experts to review the USG questions and comments and to
revise first draft corrigendum. The changes were reflected
in a second corrigendum. Discussion with both the UK and FRG
delegation indicated they were satisfied with the conversion
request and the two corrigenda.

AGENDA ITEM 14 - Facility Agreements

25. (U) At Russia's request, the Council again deferred the
facility agreement for Aberdeen. Late in the week, the U.S.
del was hopeful a solution had been found that would satisfy
Russian concerns with regard to the declaration of the TSDF
as part of the declared destruction facility. On review in
Washington, the text was determined to be untenable and was
abandoned. Delegation now believes it would be advantageous
to revert to the simpler mechanism entertained earlier of a
blanket "no precedent" declaration in the decision documents.
Del will explore this option with Washington during the
coming weeks.

26. (U) Following consultations with the U.S., the Italians
issued six corrigenda to their six schedule 2 facility
agreements before the EC, incorporating U.S. comments. In
introducing their documents, the Italians noted that the
documents for approval are "arrangements" rather than
"agreements" due to internal Italian requirements for their
legislature to review "agreements". The Council approved the
six Italian Schedule 2 facility arrangements (and noted the
attached TS report regarding differences between the text of
the model facility agreement and the arrangements before the

AGENDA ITEM 15 - Chemical industry issues

27. (U) The EC approved report language regarding the
marking of scheduled chemicals in the Handbook on Chemicals
to assist SPs in making declarations. Specifically, the
language requests that the TS, in its next version of the
Handbook, mark chemicals which have been declared with an
asterisk in order to distinguish chemicals actually used and
traded from those included in the chemical list as research,
development or test chemicals not normally associated with
industrial activities or trade.

AGENDA ITEM 16 - Lists of new
validated data for inclusion in the
OPCW Central Analytical Database
28. (U) The Council approved the DG's note on the lists of
new validated data.

AGENDA ITEM 17 - Fostering of
international cooperation for
peaceful purposes in the field
of chemical activities

29. (U) The EC Chairman noted that there had been no
informal consultations on this topic due to lack of a
facilitator and urged that volunteers come forward urgently.
India supported this request, noting the importance of
negotiating an action plan for Article XI, and asked
delegations to show flexibility. Iran, supported by
Pakistan, noted the importance of fully and effectively
implementing Article XI. Article XI activities should not be
limited to workshops and seminars. SPs need to strengthen
their compliance and enhance their transparency with this
Article. The Council adopted report language submitted by
Brazil and Mexico.

AGENDA ITEM 18 - Assistance
and protection against chemical weapons

30. (U) Facilitator Gabrielle Kruger (UK) updated the EC on
her efforts to reach agreement on a standard format and
procedures for SPs to make annual submissions of information
on national programs for protective purposes. She indicated
that, with the latest version recently circulated, they were
close to having an agreed document ready for approval at the
upcoming CSP. In discussions on the margins of the EC, the
U.S. and UK dels discussed the current status of negotiations
and agreed to remain in close contact as this issue moves
toward a conclusion. The UK agreed to provide the U.S. an
updated version of the format, taking into consideration
concerns raised about the previous version, as well as draft
procedures related to the making of annual submissions.

AGENDA ITEM 19 - Reports of the
External Auditor

31. (U) The EC agreed to note the report, and the U.S.
arranged for acceptable report language, fending off calls
for payment schedules. The U.S. made a comment from the
floor welcoming the External Auditor's report, expressing
appreciation that the report is more in-depth than in recent
years, and urging an increased emphasis on "value-for-money"
audits in future years.

AGENDA ITEM 20 - Implementation of
the recommendations of the External Auditor
and of the Office of Internal Oversight

32. (U) The Council agreed to note the reports. The
facilitator, Chiho Komuro (Japan), provided an oral report,
noting that greater detailed information should be provided
in future status reports and also suggested the inclusion for
a specific timeline for completion of the recommendations.
The U.S. expressed regret that these reports provide only
cursory information on implementation of the External Auditor
and OIO recommendations and should be improved upon in the
future. Del also noted with disappointment that the TS made
no improvements to the type of information provided in these
status reports.

Programme and Budget for 2005

33. (U) There remain clear disagreements among member states
regarding the proposed budget for 2005. The issue will be
raised at the upcoming special EC on November 24, but chances
for agreement there are slim. Instead, the special EC will
be the starting point for final budget negotiations, which
will likely take place on the margins of the upcoming CSP.
From sidebar conversations and information in opening
statements, all delegations, except the U.S., appear to want
a reduction in the proposed overall budget increase of 4.8%.
Other discussions on the proposed budget will be reported
septel. The Council decided to further consider the Draft
Medium-Term Plan for 2005-2007 at a meeting prior to CSP-9.

AGENDA ITEM 22 - Administrative
and financial issues

34. (U) The Council noted the DG's income and expenditure
reports for the OPCW. The EC also agreed to forward to the
CSP the DG's report on transfer from and replenishment to the
Working Capital Fund. It also noted the DG's information on
the implementation of recommendations made by the 16th ABAF.
The Council noted the report of the 17th ABAF, as well as the
information from the DG on the implementation of the
recommendations made by the 17th ABAF. Finally, the EC noted
the resignations of certain ABAF members and approved the
appointments of successors.

35. (U) (Note: the original agenda item twenty-three in the
notional schedule -- agreements on the privileges and
immunities of the OPCW -- was dropped from the draft report
as there was no action on the item. End Note.)

AGENDA ITEM 23 - Implementation
of the Headquarters Agreement

36. (U) After a heated debate from the floor, with the
African Group and the Latin American Group indicating support
for the establishment of a committee on this agenda item and
most Western countries requesting information from the DG and
opposing the establishment of a committee, the Council
reached consensus on report language. The EC noted the
report by the DG on implementation of the Headquarters
Agreement and requested that the DG provide supplementary

AGENDA ITEM 24 - Any other business

37. (U) The Council set the dates for the forty-third
session of the EC as 5-9 December 2005. The EC also approved
the DG's proposal to increase the number of members of the
Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) to 25 members. Several
delegations, including France, Germany and the UK, spoke in
support of increasing the number of representatives on the
SAB due to increased workload and the need to adequately
reflect the geographic diversity of SPs relative to the
increase in SP membership.

38. (U) There was much discussion (none of which made its
way into the report) regarding the EU's joint action plan on
challenge inspections. As a result of the July 2004 seminar
held in Austria regarding challenge inspections, the EU
generated a general agreement calling for consultations on
administrative and logistical issues associated with
challenge inspections. This proposal was resoundingly
rejected by most of the NAM, with India, Brazil, and Iran
leading the charge. There appeared to be a general suspicion
among opposing SPs that the EU proposal was designed to
increase the likelihood or direct a challenge inspection.
The EU proposal was confusing, given that it called for
consultations already provided for in the EC's plan of
activities. Due to this fact, the EU needs only to offer or
identify a facilitator to begin discussions. In the end,
after much positioning, the EU agreed to withdraw the text.


39. (U) While not discussed as a formal agenda item during
the Council session, the question of destruction of Albania's
stockpile of chemical weapons was discussed on two occasions.
During the informal destruction meeting on October 11, both
the Albanian and the U.S. delegation made brief interventions
to the effect that the two parties were working closely
together under the auspices of the U.S. CTR program. The
U.S. further indicated that at this stage of the process, we
are awaiting Presidential signature on the certification that
will permit CTR funding to begin flowing.

40. (U) On October 12, the Swiss delegation hosted a luncheon
to discuss the issue of destruction of Albania's stockpile.
The meeting was attended by the UK, U.S., Albania, Italy,
France, Netherlands and Germany. The U.S. introduced the
subject of cooperation with Albania by briefly describing how
CTR came to be involved in the Albania destruction program.
The Delegation also expressed, as it had during the October
11 destruction meeting, that the hesitation previously
expressed by the U.S., through the Albanians, to receive
"outside" funding, had passed. Now that the U.S. has a
better idea of its own involvement and the scope of the
project, we believed it was possible to begin a dialogue
about possible assistance from, for example, the EU.

41. (U) In its capacity as EU President, the Netherlands
intervened that the EU had recently concluded, based on the
response received from Tirana on this issue, that Albania did
not need any funding other than what the U.S. was providing.
As part of its recent decision, the EU had essentially "red
lined" Albania from consideration for receiving funding
during FY 05, an action that would have to be reversed if
Albania was to receive such consideration. (Note: The EU has
allotted approximately 1.8 million Euros to be expended under
the general heading of "chemical weapons destruction".
Lacking any other object for the expenditure of these funds,
the EU had decided to give all 1.8 million to OPCW. End
Note.) The Dutch representative stated that if Albania in
fact wanted to be considered for receipt of FY 05 funds, the
EU should receive a letter immediately from Albania stating
this. The Albanian Ambassador said he would provide such a
letter the next day. After the meeting, the Albanian
requested U.S. support in drafting the letter, which the
delegation provided. The letter was delivered to the EU
Presidency on October 13 and, delegation was informed, was
sent to the appropriate working group in Brussels for
consideration and discussion.

42. (U) Based on information from Washington, delegation
also cited three general areas in which such assistance might
be usefully applied: support for destruction activities;
offset of inspection costs; and conduct of analyses.
Delegation highlighted the concern expressed by Albania over
the daunting prospect of having to pay the 250,000-500,000
USD that we estimated it would cost for the TS to perform
inspections over the life cycle of the Albanian destruction
program. Switzerland made reference to the 60,000 euros it
had already pledged for inspection costs, which Albania
acknowledged, but also reckoned would not fully cover
anticipated costs.

43. (U) Delegation also cited selected items from the list of
specific areas in which assistance might be needed to support
the actual destruction effort, including road improvement and
purchase of fuel for generators and the incinerator. All
present, particularly the Swiss, took copious notes. The
request from most delegations after the meeting was for more
specific information about areas where assistance might be
offered. Delegation had stated during the meeting that we
would have more specific ideas about where help could be
offered, costs, timelines, and the modalities for turning
offers of assistance into concrete actions, once the
Presidential certification had taken place and "spade work"
could begin in earnest. All present took the point, but
reiterated that something in writing from the U.S. that they
as the EU or as individuals could use for the own
decision-making process would be highly prized. Delegation
concluded its substantive remarks by stating that it was
optimistic that a more fulsome dialogue could be undertaken
soon, including information along the lines they were

44. (U) Based on an informal request from Washington,
delegation availed itself of the opportunity to talk to the
director of the Spiez laboratory in Switzerland, Dr. Marc
Cadisch, about the analysis Spiez performed on some samples
of Albania's CW. In particular, the delegation asked whether
Spiez had tested for the presence of heavy metals in the
agent, and was informed it had not. In answer to a follow-up
question, Cadisch indicated he would be happy to conduct
further analysis of the agent samples if we would provide
very specific parameters for the testing. Delegation
informed him we would respond.

45. (U) Also on the margins of the meeting, Swiss delegate
and employee of Spiez, Dominique Werner, spoke to the
delegation at length about Switzerland's experiences and
"lessons learned" while working in Albania. Werner offered
and recommended that initial assessment or technical teams
going into Albania in preparation for establishing a CW
destruction operation should stop over in Switzerland. The
Swiss have a large body of practical experience that would be
useful to convey.


46. (U) This session of the informal donors meeting produced
little of substance, though politically two things seem
noteworthy. First, to universal annoyance, Russia provided
virtually no enlightenment with regard to the changes in its
destruction program and the bureaucracy charged with
overseeing it. In response, Italy made an impassioned appeal
to Russia for such information and, in particular, a reliable
point of contact to sign contracts and discuss substance.
During the meeting and in a subsequent bilateral meeting with
DATSD (CD&TR) Mr. Patrick Wakefield, the Italian delegation
expressed extreme frustration that it had contracts that,
once signed, would permit funds to begin flowing to Russia's
destruction program, but they could not find a Russian to
sign them. The offices they had dealt with in the past were
apparently defunct and no one even answered the telephone.
Magnifying Italy's frustration was the fact that the current
contracts are small compared to the roughly 330 million euros
Italy has committed to give Russia for CW destruction. If
the situation did not improve with regard to the small
contracts, the much larger sum might be jeopardized.

47. (U) The second issue, related to the first, was the
discernable lack of collegiality toward Russia that has
characterized these meetings in the past. In its own full
frontal assault, the Canadian delegation, drawing on points
apparently provided by Ottawa, also stated that difficulties
with identifying contractors had become an obstacle to the
provision of assistance by Canada. He also took the Russians
to task over public assertions by Russian officials that by
complaining about problems with Russia's bureaucracy, Canada
was creating "pretexts" for Canada not delivering the
assistance it had pledged. Delegation also intervened to
cite U.S. contribution figures to date and anticipated in FY
05, and to also complain about difficulties created by Russia
with respect to contractors and the issuance of visas to U.S.

48. (U) Ito sends.


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Abu Akleh Shooting: Fatal Shot Came From Israeli Forces, Says OHCHR
Israeli forces were behind the fatal shooting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank - not indiscriminate Palestinian firing - the UN human rights office, OHCHR, alleged on Friday... More>>

Ethiopia: Conflict, Drought, Dwindling Food Support, Threatens Lives Of 20 Million

Hunger is tightening its grip on more than 20 million Ethiopians who are facing conflict in the north, drought in the south and dwindling food and nutrition support beginning next month, the UN food relief agency warned on Thursday... More>>

Euro Med Monitor: Syria Cross-border Aid Mechanism Extension Is Necessary For The Survival Of Millions

Permanent members of the UN Security Council should extend the cross-border aid to northwestern Syria, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said Tuesday in a statement...

UN Ocean Conference: Opens With Call For Urgent Action To Tackle Ocean Emergency
With climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution exacting a devastating toll on the world’s ocean — critical to food security, economic growth and the environment... More>>

World Vision: Deeply Concerned For Thousands Affected By Afghanistan Quake
World Vision is deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan in the wake of a powerful earthquake in the early hours of this morning... More>>

Malaysia: UN Experts Welcome Announcement To Abolish Mandatory Death Penalty

UN human rights experts* today commended an announcement made by the Malaysian government that it will abolish the country’s mandatory death penalty and encouraged Parliament to take concrete steps to pass the agreement into law... More>>