Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Austria
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Kosovo, Slovakia and Slovenia

Safeguards Implementation Report for 2016

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting: 14 June 2017

Statement by Ms Alison Drury, Alternate Resident Representative to the IAEA

Agenda Item Item: Safeguards Implementation Report for 2016

 

Thank you, Chair.

In considering the Safeguards Implementation Report in GOV/2017/23 Australia’s attention is drawn to the increasing demands on the Agency in implementing safeguards, while maintaining the effectiveness of its approaches.

The Agency implements safeguards in an environment with an ever-increasing quantity of nuclear material: over the last year an increase of about ten significant quantities per day.  In addition, there are increasing numbers of facilities, increasing complexity of facilities, plus the specific demands in verifying and monitoring safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). 

We commend the efforts of the Secretariat in its ongoing work to examine ways of increasing the efficiency of its processes and approaches, while not compromising effectiveness.  In this regard, the Safeguards Implementation Report outlines some of these key developments in the Agency’s ongoing efforts, such as:

  • the completion of updated State-level safeguards approaches for some 64 States;
  • the development of new applications to improve the performance of the safeguards information system under the MOSAIC project; and
  • the identification and development of emerging technologies under the Agency’s technology foresight activities.

The efforts of the staff of the Secretariat in developing updated State-level approaches deserves particular mention - updating over fifty through to the end of 2016 to complete the task for all States under integrated safeguards, plus a few more.  The development of State-level approaches for the remaining States is very important, and we look forward to that being done as soon as possible.

The Safeguards Implementation Reports (SIR) is a very important technically-based document.  The purpose of the SIR, as first recommended by the Director General to the Board in 1977, is to “make available to the Board more detailed information on the application of Agency safeguards and thus enable it to assess their effectiveness”2.  This important requirement of the SIR continues today.

The SIR should, therefore, continue to evolve be ensure it contains sufficient detail and context to enable the Board to exercise its responsibility, as a key policy making organ of the IAEA, and to assess the performance and effectiveness of safeguards implementation across the Secretariat and Member States.  The SIR should assist Member States to understand the operation of the Agency’s safeguards system, and the challenges and problems the Agency faces in safeguards implementation and drawing conclusions. 

In order to support this, it would be helpful if the SIR contained greater specificity than is currently the case.  Importantly, information should be presented in a way that allows for analysis of trends, and clearly identifies significant areas of concern for safeguards implementation as a whole. We hope that these proposals can be considered for future SIRs.

With these comments Australia welcomes the release of the Safeguards statement for 2016 and the Background to the Safeguards Statement and Summary. 

Thank you, Chair.

 

1 Modernization of Safeguards Information Technology

2 GOV/1823, 3 February 1977