STATEMENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL VERIFICATION COMMISSION
21 December 2014
The International Verification Commission (IVC) was established on 28 September 2011 to verify the “permanent, general and verifiable ceasefire” declared by Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) on 10 January 2011 and its subsequent declaration of a “definitive end of violence” on 20 October 2011. Since its establishment, the Commission has verified that ETA has been fulfilling its commitment to cease all assassinations, bombings, attacks, threats and extortion.
Throughout this period the IVC has worked closely with Basque political and social actors. The IVC is grateful for their assistance and support in its task of verifying the ceasefire and the definitive end of violence.
During the Commission’s visits to the Basque Region, the IVC has been observing the positive developments in the Basque Country and continues to express hope that efforts to consolidate the end of violence would be intensified.
In April 2013, the IVC’s mandate was expanded to include verifying a unilateral process of sealing and putting beyond operational use ETA’s arms, ammunition and explosives. In January 2014, the Commission verified that ETA had sealed and put beyond operational use a specified quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives. At that time the Commission noted this was a first step in a process the Commission believed would eventually lead to the putting beyond operational use of all ETA’s arms, ammunition and explosives.
The IVC has recently received reports that ETA is continuing to seal and put beyond operational use its arms, ammunition and explosives. ETA has reiterated to the IVC its commitment made public on 1 March 2014 to unilaterally seal and put beyond operational use its arms, ammunition and explosives, and to develop an inventory of these. From our experience in other processes, making an inventory of, and putting beyond operational use, arms, ammunition and explosives, is a step prior to complete disarmament.
The IVC will continue to work with all the relevant actors to expedite this process as quickly as possible. We are confident that with the support of all political and social actors in the Basque Region this can be achieved. The Commission will continue to work with determination and impartiality towards a durable peace.
The Commission consists of the following members:
Ronald Kasrils, former Minister of Intelligence and Deputy Defence Minister of South Africa.
Chris Maccabe, former Political Director of the Northern Ireland Office of the United Kingdom.
Ram Manikkalingam, Director of Dialogue Advisory Group and Professor at Amsterdam University, and former Adviser to the President of Sri Lanka for negotiations with the Tamil Tigers.
Satish Nambiar, former Deputy Chief of the Indian Army and former Commander and Head of Mission of the UN Protection Force in the former Yugoslavia in 1992 and 1993.
Fleur Ravensbergen, Coordinator of the IVC, Assistant Director of Dialogue Advisory Group.
Aracelly Santana, former Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Deputy Head of Mission, United Nations Mission in Nepal (UMIN) and former Director, Americas Office in the United Nations Department of Political Affairs.
Bilbao, 21 February 2014
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Introduction by Ram Manikkalingam
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the inaugural meeting of the International Verification Commission. On behalf of my fellow commissioners, I would like to thank you for attending this meeting today. We have here […]