HC Deb 29 November 2001 vol 375 c1071W
Rev. Martin Smyth

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects the next event in the decommissioning process to take place. [11993]

Jane Kennedy

The Independent International Commission on Decommissioning reported on 23 October that it had witnessed a quantity of IRA arms being put beyond use according to the terms of the decommissioning schemes and regulations. However, in the interest of furthering the process of putting all arms beyond use, the commission declined to provide further details including on the timing of further events.

The commission's mandate under the terms of the Good Friday agreement is to facilitate the decommissioning of all paramilitary arms. To that end, it reported that it is continuing contact with the IRA representative. The Government have every confidence in General de Chastelain and his colleagues and we should all respect their wishes on how best to proceed to fulfil their mandate.