Australian National Statement
65th Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference
Ambassador Richard Sadleir, Governor and Permanent Representative of Australia to the IAEA
As a founding member of the IAEA, Australia strongly supports the Agency’s essential work to advance the peaceful uses of nuclear technology and prevent nuclear weapons proliferation.
The IAEA, through its role ensuring strict adherence to safeguards obligations, is central to the global non-proliferation architecture. Australia commends the Agency’s continued diligent safeguards implementation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australia considers the Additional Protocol as essential for strengthening the IAEA’s safeguards system. We see it as the contemporary standard for verification and strongly support the goal of its universalisation.
Australia supports the Agency’s efforts to continuously improve internal work practices and ensure consistency in the development and implementation of state-level approaches to safeguards.
It is incumbent on all IAEA Member States to ensure the IAEA is able to conduct its safeguards work, including the analysis of all safeguards-relevant material. Australia is deeply concerned by the decision of the Islamic Republic of Iran to stop implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA, including the Additional Protocol. We reiterate our urgent call on the Islamic Republic of Iran to reverse its steps away from the JCPOA and to recommit itself to the terms of the agreement.
Australia is also deeply concerned by Iran’s failure to address in a technically credible manner the presence of nuclear material at undeclared locations and its stated decision not to implement modified code 3.1, contrary to its safeguards obligations.
We emphasise Australia’s strong and continued support for the professionalism, persistence and patience of the Director General and IAEA staff as they seek to implement safeguards in Iran.
Australia notes the 12 September commitment by Iran to allow IAEA inspectors to service identified equipment and replace storage media under appropriate seals.
We further note the commitment of Iran and the IAEA to hold high-level consultations with the aim of enhancing cooperation. We consider that these commitments must be acted upon without delay.
Australia remains gravely concerned by the situation on the Korean Peninsula. We again urge the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to return to full compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, permit an early return to IAEA safeguards inspections, comply fully with all relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
The international community must continue to implement UN sanctions on the DPRK until it takes clear steps towards complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation.
Australia strongly supports the IAEA’s work on the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. We appreciate the Agency’s flexible approach to the Technical Cooperation program, facilitating access to nuclear techniques for the fast and effective diagnosis of COVID-19.
As Co-Chair of the Group of Friends for Women in Nuclear, Australia commends the Agency’s efforts to increase representation and diversity in the IAEA, and to enhance the role of women in the nuclear sector.
The Governments of Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom have announced an 18-month process of consultation and analysis to determine the best way forward for Australia to acquire conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines.
Australia remains committed to its status as a non-nuclear weapon state in full and unconditional compliance with our obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The trilateral cooperation between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom will be fully consistent with the three parties’ respective nuclear non-proliferation obligations. We will engage fully with the IAEA as we undertake this trilateral effort over the next 18 months.
We will ensure that, through the trilateral consultation process, Australia’s exemplary non-proliferation credentials and our longstanding commitment to the nuclear non-proliferation regime are reinforced.
We are all looking forward to the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in January 2022, which will be a vital opportunity for the international community to advance the objectives of the Treaty. We similarly look forward to productive engagement on the 2022 Conference of Parties to the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.
Thank you, President.