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CONSULTATIONS, COOPERATION AND FACT-FINDING
    ARTICLE IX

    CONSULTATIONS, COOPERATION AND FACT-FINDING

    1. States Parties shall consult and cooperate, directly among themselves, or
    through the Organization or other appropriate international procedures,
    including procedures within the framework of the United Nations and in
    accordance with its Charter, on any matter which may be raised relating to the
    object and purpose, or the implementation of the provisions, of this
    Convention.

    2. Without prejudice to the right of any State Party to request a challenge
    inspection, States Parties should, whenever possible, first make every effort
    to clarify and resolve, through exchange of information and consultations
    among themselves, any matter which may cause doubt about compliance with this
    Convention, or which gives rise to concerns about a related matter which may
    be considered ambiguous. A State Party which receives a request from another
    State Party for clarification of any matter which the requesting State Party
    believes causes such a doubt or concern shall provide the requesting State
    Party as soon as possible, but in any case not later than 10 days after the
    request, with information sufficient to answer the doubt or concern raised
    along with an explanation of how the information provided resolves the matter.
    Nothing in this Convention shall affect the right of any two or more States
    Parties to arrange by mutual consent for inspections or any other procedures
    among themselves to clarify and resolve any matter which may cause doubt about
    compliance or gives rise to a concern about a related matter which may be
    considered ambiguous. Such arrangements shall not affect the rights and
    obligations of any State Party under other provisions of this Convention.

    Procedure for requesting clarification

    3. A State Party shall have the right to request the Executive Council to
    assist in clarifying any situation which may be considered ambiguous or which
    gives rise to a concern about the possible non-compliance of another State
    Party with this Convention. The Executive Council shall provide appropriate
    information in its possession relevant to such a concern.

    4. A State Party shall have the right to request the Executive Council to
    obtain clarification from another State Party on any situation which may be
    considered ambiguous or which gives rise to a concern about its possible
    non-compliance with this Convention. In such a case, the following shall
    apply:

    (a) The Executive Council shall forward the request for clarification to the
    State Party concerned through the Director-General not later than 24 hours
    after its receipt;

    (b) The requested State Party shall provide the clarification to the
    Executive Council as soon as possible, but in any case not later than 10 days
    after the receipt of the request;

    (c) The Executive Council shall take note of the clarification and forward
    it to the requesting State Party not later than 24 hours after its receipt;

    (d) If the requesting State Party deems the clarification to be inadequate,
    it shall have the right to request the Executive Council to obtain from the
    requested State Party further clarification;

    (e) For the purpose of obtaining further clarification requested under
    subparagraph (d), the Executive Council may call on the Director-General to
    establish a group of experts from the Technical Secretariat, or if appropriate
    staff are not available in the Technical Secretariat, from elsewhere, to
    examine all available information and data relevant to the situation causing
    the concern. The group of experts shall submit a factual report to the
    Executive Council on its findings;

    (f) If the requesting State Party considers the clarification obtained under
    subparagraphs (d) and (e) to be unsatisfactory, it shall have the right to
    request a special session of the Executive Council in which States Parties
    involved that are not members of the Executive Council shall be entitled to
    take part. In such a special session, the Executive Council shall consider the
    matter and may recommend any measure it deems appropriate to resolve the
    situation.

    5. A State Party shall also have the right to request the Executive Council to
    clarify any situation which has been considered ambiguous or has given rise to
    a concern about its possible non-compliance with this Convention. The
    Executive Council shall respond by providing such assistance as appropriate.

    6. The Executive Council shall inform the States Parties about any request for
    clarification provided in this Article.

    7. If the doubt or concern of a State Party about a possible non-compliance
    has not been resolved within 60 days after the submission of the request for
    clarification to the Executive Council, or it believes its doubts warrant
    urgent consideration, notwithstanding its right to request a challenge
    inspection, it may request a special session of the Conference in accordance
    with Article VIII, paragraph 12 (c). At such a special session, the Conference
    shall consider the matter and may recommend any measure it deems appropriate
    to resolve the situation.

    Procedures for challenge inspections

    8. Each State Party has the right to request an on-site challenge inspection
    of any facility or location in the territory or in any other place under the
    jurisdiction or control of any other State Party for the sole purpose of
    clarifying and resolving any questions concerning possible non-compliance with
    the provisions of this Convention, and to have this inspection conducted
    anywhere without delay by an inspection team designated by the
    Director-General and in accordance with the Verification Annex.

    9. Each State Party is under the obligation to keep the inspection request
    within the scope of this Convention and to provide in the inspection request
    all appropriate information on the basis of which a concern has arisen
    regarding possible non-compliance with this Convention as specified in the
    Verification Annex. Each State Party shall refrain from unfounded inspection
    requests, care being taken to avoid abuse. The challenge inspection shall be
    carried out for the sole purpose of determining facts relating to the possible
    non-compliance.

    10. For the purpose of verifying compliance with the provisions of this
    Convention, each State Party shall permit the Technical Secretariat to conduct
    the on-site challenge inspection pursuant to paragraph 8.

    11. Pursuant to a request for a challenge inspection of a facility or
    location, and in accordance with the procedures provided for in the
    Verification Annex, the inspected State Party shall have.

    (a) The right and the obligation to make every reasonable effort to
    demonstrate its compliance with this Convention and, to this end, to enable
    the inspection team to fulfil its mandate;

    (b) The obligation to provide access within the requested site for the sole
    purpose of establishing facts relevant to the concern regarding possible
    non-compliance; and

    (c) The right to take measures to protect sensitive installations, and to
    prevent disclosure of confidential information and data, not related to this
    Convention.

    12. With regard to an observer, the following shall apply:

    (a) The requesting State Party may, subject to the agreement of the
    inspected State Party, send a representative who may be a national either of
    the requesting State Party or of a third State Party, to observe the conduct
    of the challenge inspection.

    (b) The inspected State Party shall then grant access to the observer in
    accordance with the Verification Annex.

    (c) The inspected State Party shall, as a rule, accept the proposed
    observer, but if the inspected State Party exercises a refusal, that fact
    shall be recorded in the final report.

    13. The requesting State Party shall present an inspection request for an
    on-site challenge inspection to the Executive Council and at the same time to
    the Director-General for immediate processing.

    14. The Director-General shall immediately ascertain that the inspection
    request meets the requirements specified in Part X, paragraph 4, of the
    Verification Annex, and, if necessary, assist the requesting State Party in
    filing the inspection request accordingly. When the inspection request fulfils
    the requirements, preparations for the challenge inspection shall begin.

    15. The Director-General shall transmit the inspection request to the
    inspected State Party not less than 12 hours before the planned arrival of the
    inspection team at the point of entry.

    16. After having received the inspection request, the Executive Council shall
    take cognizance of the Director-General's actions on the request and shall
    keep the case under its consideration throughout the inspection procedure.
    However, its deliberations shall not delay the inspection process.

    17. The Executive Council may, not later than 12 hours after having received
    the inspection request, decide by a three-quarter majority of all its members
    against carrying out the challenge inspection, if it considers the inspection
    request to be frivolous, abusive or clearly beyond the scope of this
    Convention as described in paragraph 8. Neither the requesting nor the
    inspected State Party shall participate in such a decision. If the Executive
    Council decides against the challenge inspection, preparations shall be
    stopped, no further action on the inspection request shall be taken, and the
    States Parties concerned shall be informed accordingly.

    18. The Director-General shall issue an inspection mandate for the conduct of
    the challenge inspection. The inspection mandate shall be the inspection
    request referred to in paragraphs 8 and 9 put into operational terms, and
    shall conform with the inspection request.

    19. The challenge inspection shall be conducted in accordance with Part X or,
    in the case of alleged use, in accordance with Part XI of the Verification
    Annex. The inspection team shall be guided by the principle of conducting the
    challenge inspection in the least intrusive manner possible, consistent with
    the effective and timely accomplishment of its mission.

    20. The inspected State Party shall assist the inspection team throughout the
    challenge inspection and facilitate its task. If the inspected State Party
    proposes, pursuant to Part X, Section C, of the Verification Annex,
    arrangements to demonstrate compliance with this Convention, alternative to
    full and comprehensive access, it shall make every reasonable effort, through
    consultations with the inspection team, to reach agreement on the modalities
    for establishing the facts with the aim of demonstrating its compliance.

    21. The final report shall contain the factual findings as well as an
    assessment by the inspection team of the degree and nature of access and
    cooperation granted for the satisfactory implementation of the challenge
    inspection. The Director-General shall promptly transmit the final report of
    the inspection team to the requesting State Party, to the inspected State
    Party, to the Executive Council and to all other States Parties. The
    Director-General shall further transmit promptly to the Executive Council the
    assessments of the requesting and of the inspected States Parties, as well as
    the views of other States Parties which may be conveyed to the
    Director-General for that purpose, and then provide them to all States
    Parties.

    22. The Executive Council shall, in accordance with its powers and functions,
    review the final report of the inspection team as soon as it is presented, and
    address any concerns as to:

    (a) Whether any non-compliance has occurred;

    (b) Whether the request had been within the scope of this Convention; and

    (c) Whether the right to request a challenge inspection had been abused.

    23. If the Executive Council reaches the conclusion, in keeping with its
    powers and functions, that further action may be necessary with regard to
    paragraph 22, it shall take the appropriate measures to redress the situation
    and to ensure compliance with this Convention, including specific
    recommendations to the Conference. In the case of abuse, the Executive Council
    shall examine whether the requesting State Party should bear any of the
    financial implications of the challenge inspection.

    24. The requesting State Party and the inspected State Party shall have the
    right to participate in the review process. The Executive Council shall inform
    the States Parties and the next session of the Conference of the outcome of
    the process.

    25. If the Executive Council has made specific recommendations to the
    Conference, the Conference shall consider action in accordance with Article
    XII.


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