Amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (A/CPPNM) Review Conference 2022
Statement by Dr Geoffrey Shaw, Director-General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office
Let me start by assuring you of my delegation’s full support for a successful conference.
Australia is compelled by Russia’s presence today to open our engagement by condemning, in the strongest possible terms, Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified and illegal attack on Ukraine. Russia’s invasion and ongoing occupation of Ukraine is not only a gross violation of international law and the United Nations Charter, it directly contravenes the rules-based order and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s core mandate of promoting the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world. Russia’s unlawful invasion poses grave threats to nuclear safety, security and the safeguarding of nuclear material and facilities in Ukraine.
We call on Russia to cease all hostile actions and withdraw immediately from Ukrainian Territory. Australia strongly supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the bedrock principles of a rules-based order and the essential foundation for peace and security. We stand in staunch support of Ukraine and its people.
Australia has always been a strong proponent of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. We come to this Review Conference with a clear focus on reviewing the implementation and adequacy of its provisions. In light of the prevailing situation, that focus on improvement is more important now than ever.
We are committed to embodying the principles of transparency and cooperation, while respecting appropriate arrangements for confidentiality. Through a variety of mechanisms, we report voluntarily to the international community on our nuclear security programs, and encourage other States to join us in doing so.
We are pleased to see the number of States Parties continue to increase following the entry into force of the Amended Convention. In particular, we welcome the most recent States Party – Malawi and Brazil – following their ratification of the Amendment earlier this month. We strongly encourage all states not yet a party to join the Amended Convention and actively implement it.
Australia strongly supports the proposal requesting a future Review Conference as a platform to review the implementation and the adequacy of the amended convention in consideration of future changes and challenges in global security. Australia has joined many other States to request a future review conference.
The Amended Convention outlines a minimum standard for physical protection, criminalisation, and international cooperation. It is key we don’t let ourselves be limited by this, and instead strive for the highest standards of implementation.
We look forward with anticipation to discussing the implementation and adequacy of the Amended Convention, the fundamental practices and principles of physical protection, and opportunities for international cooperation in more detail in the topical sessions of this conference.
Thank you, Co-Presidents