Jeffrey LewisWhat to do with UNMOVIC

The Associated Press reports that, “after blocking discussions for nearly two years, the United States has quietly started low-key talks on ending the work of U.N. inspectors” in Iraq.

The Iraqi government wants UNMOVIC shut down, in part to regain control over past oil revenues that are used to fund UNMOVIC.

France and Britain, however, want to transform UNMOVIC “into a permanent agency authorized to investigate biological weapons and missile programs worldwide …”

The arguments in favor of maintaining UNMOVIC as a permanent, international, nonproliferation inspection capability are straightforward: Although the international community maintains standing inspectorates for chemical and nuclear weapons, there are no equivalent institutions for biological weapons or missiles.

Here is a short bibliography:

  • Frank Ronald Cleminson, Modelling a New International Regime for Monitoring and Verification of Compliance: Drawing from Experience in Iraq 1991-2004 (2004)
  • Trevor Findlay. “Preserving UNMOVIC: The Institutional Possibilities,” Disarmament Diplomacy 76 (March/April 2004).
  • Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, “Enforcing WMD treaties: consolidating a UN role,” Disarmament Diplomacy 75 (January/February 2004).