65th Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference
Ambassador Richard Sadleir, Governor and Permanent Representative of Australia to the IAEA
Trilateral Statement in Reply
Thank you, President
I take the floor on behalf of the Governments of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America to exercise a right of reply.
Our Governments have recently announced an 18-month process of consultation to identify the optimal pathway for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered, conventionally armed, submarines. This trilateral cooperation is possible because of the close existing cooperation between the three states and our unequivocal commitment to nuclear non-proliferation.
A core objective of the trilateral consultation process will be to identity parameters that reinforce Australia’s exemplary non-proliferation credentials and the longstanding commitment of each of our Governments to the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Our three nations are deeply committed to upholding our leadership on global non-proliferation.
The trilateral cooperation between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States will be fully consistent with the three parties’ respective non-proliferation obligations. As Director General Grossi reported in his public statement last week, our Governments informed the IAEA at an early stage on this development. Director General Grossi noted the IAEA will engage with us on this matter in line with its statutory mandate. We welcome this engagement. We are fully committed to setting a high standard for international assurance and will engage fully with the IAEA as we undertake this trilateral effort over the next 18 months.
Finally, Mr President
Australia remains fully committed to its status as a non-nuclear weapon state in full compliance with our obligations under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. This has not changed and will not change.
Thank you, President.