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Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 3 March 2010

I have received the report of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) on their activity over the last six months, up to the end of the British and Irish decommissioning amnesties. I have placed a copy of the report in the Library.

I pay tribute to the tireless work of the IICD over the last 12 years in securing this progress. Their contribution has been a central part of the peace and political process over many years. The people of Northern Ireland will be safer with these illegal arms out of circulation.

Now that the decommissioning amnesties have expired, I will discuss the finalisation of the IICD’s work with the Irish Government and with the IICD. The two Governments will be asking the IICD for a report covering the whole of their 12 years experience and, of course, a report on armaments decommissioned. I will need to discuss the scope and timing of the report with the IICD and the Irish Government. John de Chastelain and his team have an enormous wealth of experience and wisdom that needs to be properly captured and understood before we finally end their role.