UNITED NATIONS. WHERE WILL VALUABLE UNMOVIC DOCUMENTS GO?

 

WHERE WILL VALUABLE UNMOVIC DOCUMENTS GO?

15 July 2007

As the Security Council decided recently to officially close UNMOVIC, the famous U.N. Inspection venture in Iraq, there is serious concern that its valuable documents will somehow disappear with it. Especially during the five years between 1998 - 2003, UNMOVIC work was of special significance to an anxious world. Its pronouncements were perceived as making a difference between war and peace. From Rolf Ekeus to Richard Butler to Hans Blix, Inspectors held the attention, not only of governments and media, but also the hopes of an anxious world. While several reports were officially announced, there is a treasure of material which remains on file. Clearly many interested parties, particularly permanent Security Council members without exception, would wish to lay hands on the full "closet;" either to find out what else they needed to know, erase a potential embarrassment or hold a marker for future use. However, those documents belong to the United Nations which should keep them at least as part of its institutional memory, if not to signal a once useful role. The Secretary General is the official guardian of this historic treasure. The way Mr. Ban Ki-Moon handles it will be indication of his political determination.