Rolf Ekéus served the Swedish Foreign Ministry in several capacities, including on the delegation to the United Nations, and from 1978 to 1983, as a representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. It was this role and his involvement with various other disarmament committees and commissions that made him a prime candidate to head the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM). Established in 1991, under resolution 687(S/RES/687(1991)), UNSCOM was commissioned to search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Mr. Ekéus served in that capacity until 1997, succeeded by Richard Butler. UNSCOM inspections were suspended in 1998 by Iraq.
Mr. Ekéus continued his career in diplomacy by being Sweden's Ambassador to the United States from 1997 to 2000. He was serving in this capacity when these interviews were conducted. In the first two interviews, conducted on 3 and 27 February 1998, focus on the establishment of UNSCOM and the implementation of the weapons inspections. In the third interview, conducted on 28 April 2000, Mr. Ekéus discusses his role as director, controversies surrounding the role of UNSCOM and his overall evaluation of its success.