Independent International Commission on Decommissioning

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The Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICoD) was established to oversee the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons in Northern Ireland, as part of the peace process.

The International Body, set up during the ceasefires to report on how decommissioning might be achieved, presented its report on 22nd January 1996. This recommended that the decommissioning process should take place "to the satisfaction of an independent commission". The Decommissioning Act, 1997 in Ireland and the Northern Ireland Arms Decommissioning Act 1997 in the United Kingdom enabled such a body, which was then set up in an agreement between the British and Irish governments on 26 August 1997.

The Commission was made up of:

Its objective was to facilitate the decommissioning of firearms, ammunition, explosives and explosives, by:

  • consulting with the two governments, the participants in the ongoing negotiations in Northern Ireland, and other relevant groups,
  • devising and presenting to the governments a set of proposals on how to achieve decommissioning,
  • facilitating the process by observing, monitoring and verifying decommissioning, and receiving and auditing arms, and
  • reporting periodically on progress.

In the Belfast Agreement the participants: "reaffirmed their commitment to the total disarmament of all paramilitary organisations, and confirmed their intention to continue to work constructively and in good faith with the Independent Commission, and to use any influence they may have, to achieve the decommissioning of all paramilitary arms within two years following endorsement in referendums North and South of the agreement and in the context of the implementation of the overall settlement."

In the event, progress on decommissioning was disappointingly slow, and the two-year target was not met.

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