February 11, 1998, by Pauline Cantwell
Convenor of Peace Caucus at UN and Peace Action UN Representative

I was part of a group of six NGO's (Felicity Hill, WILPF; Cora Weiss, Peace Action; Roger Smith, NGO Committee on Disarmament; Johnathan Granoff of Lawyers Allied for World Security and Colby Lowe, Peace Action) who met with Richard Butler yesterday morning. Butler, the Special Commissioner and Chief Inspector of UNSCOM, discussed with us ways that we in civil society can help defuse the current crisis between Iraq and the U.S. He urged us to get the following out in the public arena:

As soon as UNSCOM inspectors say they have achieved their goals, the sanctions will be lifted.

He also urged us to demand that President Clinton and his entire administration and spokespersons make this message absolutely clear.

He asked us to talk to the media and demand, absolutely demand, that Clinton and any other responsible administration person state that: "The resolution (SC 687, Paragraph 22) states that the sanctions will be lifted when the inspectors say their inspections are completed. We promise that this will happen." There must be no hedging. No one can move the goalpost.

Amb. Butler said that the inspectors are satisfied there is no longer any nuclear or long-range capability and they are very close to completing the chemical and biological phase of the operation. They need to find a way to inspect sensitive sites while maintaining Iraq's dignity and sovereignty. Everything could be completed in a few months.

The second phase of the operation will be continued monitoring of Iraq's weapons program. This phase is not subject to sanctions.

We made several suggestions for ways to defuse the situation including the following:

Contact Tracy Moavero at the Peace Caucus Office

ph 212-750-5795, fax 212-750-5849,

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