Security Council sets up new system to monitor Iraqi disarmament.

A year after United Nations arms inspectors left Iraq, the Security Council today set up a new weapons monitoring system that paves the way for the suspension of sanctions if Baghdad cooperates.

Security Council votes on new monitoring system on Iraq

In adopting Resolution 1284, the Council established the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) to replace the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM). The measure was adopted by a vote of 11 in favour, with China, France, Malaysia and the Russian Federation abstaining.

The resolution requires Iraq to cooperate with UNMOVIC and make progress on disarmament for 120 days before sanctions could be suspended. Weapons inspections every 120 days thereafter would verify Baghdad's compliance and any violations would re-trigger the economic embargo.

Today's action also lifts the $5.26 billion ceiling on the country's oil exports under the "oil-for-food" programme, which was set up in 1996 to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.