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Report of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), 22 December 2000

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Text: IICD ... Page Compiled: Martin Melaugh


22 December 2000

The Rt. Hon. Peter Mandelson, MP Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Belfast
Mr. John O'Donoghue, TD, Minister of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Dublin


1. This report has been delayed until just before the Christmas break in the knowledge that considerable efforts are ongoing to resolve the impasse over decommissioning. Should there be a change in the current situation we will issue a further report.

2. In our 26 October report we stated we had not made progress on actual decommissioning up to that time. That remains the case to date.

3. Since the last report we have continued to meet with political parties. We have also engaged with the UVF and UFF representatives and we have urged re-engagement by the IRA representative. The UVF representatives have met with us and confirmed the commitment to decommissioning they previously gave us. They have warned that in their opinion dissident activity has made decommissioning harder to achieve, but they stand by their agreement on decommissioning methods and supporting issues. Recent meetings of the UFF representatives have confirmed to us their previously-given commitments on decommissioning.

4. We welcome the end of the loyalist feud and believe that this development, coupled with re-engagement with us by the IRA representative, would mark a positive step forward on decommissioning.

5. In their public statement of 5 December the IRA re-confirmed their readiness "to initiate a process that would completely and verifiably put IRA arms beyond use and to do so in a way to avoid risk to the public, misappropriation by others and ensure maximum public confidence". We welcome that commitment as helpful, as we do their statement that "we have not broken off contact with the IICD and we remain committed to discussions with them on the basis we have set out".

6. In May the Governments invited the Commission to examine, with paramilitary group representatives, further proposals for decommissioning schemes beyond the two approved by them. We already have agreement in principle on schemes with the UVF and UFF. We are anxious to explore with the IRA representative their proposal to put arms beyond use and our role in that process.

7. The Governments' 5 May statement indicated that they "now believe that the remaining steps necessary to secure full implementation of the Agreement can be achieved by June 2001, and commit themselves to that goal". Again the Commission remains prepared to state, if necessary, when we believe decommissioning must start and how it must proceed if we are to fulfil our mandate within the required period. We believe that sufficient time still exists for the complete decommissioning of paramilitary arms by June 2001, and that appropriate methods can be set up for that purpose.

8. We believe it is crucial that we have substantive engagement with the IRA representative as soon as possible, followed by early movement on actual decommissioning by each of the paramilitary groups, if we are to meet the Agreement's decommissioning requirements by the beginning of June.


Signed: Tauno Nieminen John de Chastelain Andrew D. Sens

Belfast, 22 December 2000

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List of IICD Reports

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