BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Northern Ireland
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
Monday, 26 June, 2000, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
IRA arms inspectors' report
Arms inspectors Martti Ahtisaari and Cyril Ramaphosa presented their report to Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson
Arms inspectors presented report at Downing Street
The two international statemen appointed to inspect IRA arms dumps to ensure that IRA weapons are secure, have delivered their first report to the International Independent Commission for Decommissioning.

This is the full text of the report by former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari and ex-ANC secretary-general Cyril Ramaphosa.

"This report is being issued following our appointment as Arms Inspectors on 6 May 2000 and our first inspection of IRA weapons dumps.

We accepted our appointment on the basis of terms of reference set out in a joint statement issued by the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach and the statement by the leadership of the IRA on 6 May 2000.

In its statement of 6 May, the IRA leadership pledged to initiate a process that will completely and verifiably put IRA arms beyond use in the context of the statement made by the two Governments on 5 May, 2000.

Besides undertaking to resume contact with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD), the IRA leadership agreed to put in place within weeks, a confidence-building measure to confirm that their weapons remain secure.


We see our mandate as being the inspection of the contents of a number of IRA arms dumps, reporting to the IICD that we have done so, and re-inspecting these dumps regularly to ensure that the weapons have remained secure.

In preparing for the first inspection visit, we were briefed by the British Prime Minister, the Irish Foreign Minister, the British Secretary of State and the Commissioners of the IICD. We also consulted most of the parties that have endorsed the Good Friday Agreement.

In addition, we consulted independent specialists in the field of arms control, who had previously participated in arms inspections elsewhere and had expertise in the area of verification.

The purpose of these consultations was to help us develop credible methods for inspection and verification.

We have now carried out our first inspection.

We inspected a number of arms dumps.

The arms dumps held a substantial amount of military material, including explosives and related equipment, as well as weapons and other material. We observed that the weapons and explosives were safely and adequately stored.

'Weapons cannot be used'

We have ensured that the weapons and explosives can not be used without our detection.

We are satisfied with the co-operation extended to us by the IRA to ensure a credible and verifiable inspection. All our requests were satisfactorily met.

We plan to re-inspect the arms dumps on a regular basis to ensure that the weapons have remained secure.

The process that led to the first inspection visit and the way in which it was carried out makes us believe that this is a genuine effort by the IRA to advance the peace process.

Martti Ahtisaari Cyril Ramaphosa London 25 June, 2000."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Links to more Northern Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Northern Ireland stories