By its resolution 687 of 3 April 1991, the United Nations Security Council established the terms and conditions for the formal cease-fire between Iraq and the coalition of Member States co-operating with Kuwait. Section C of this resolution called for the elimination, under international supervision, of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres (km), together with related items and production facilities. It also called for measures to ensure that the acquisition and production of prohibited items were not resumed. The United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) was set up to implement the non-nuclear provisions of the resolution and to assist the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the nuclear areas. The precise terms are laid out in paragraphs 7 to 13 of the resolution.
On 18 April 1991, after Iraq had formally accepted the provisions of resolution 687, the Secretary-General submitted to the Security Council his report regarding the establishment of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM). Following acceptance by the Security Council of the report on 19 April, the Secretary-General appointed Ambassador Rolf Ekéus (Sweden) as the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission. On 1 May 1991, the Secretary-General appointed 20 other members of the Commission, from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States and Venezuela.