IAEA Board of Governors
Agenda item 6(c): Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic
8 March 2023
Statement by Mr Jarrod Powell, Alternate Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA
On 9 June 2011, nearly 12 years ago, this Board adopted a resolution, based on the report of the then Director General, which found that Syria’s undeclared construction of a nuclear reactor at Dair Alzour and failure to provide related information constituted a breach of its safeguards obligations.
The 2011 resolution called upon Syria to remedy its non-compliance urgently and fulfill its pledge to the Director General by providing necessary information to the IAEA. Australia remains deeply concerned by Syria’s ongoing failure to address outstanding questions about undeclared facilities and activities at the Dair Alzour site, in line with the Board resolution.
We commend the IAEA for its sustained efforts to address the implementation of NPT safeguards in Syria. We thank the Director General for his efforts to engage with Syria.
In May last year, the Director General sent a letter to Syria restating his preparedness to meet with Syria to discuss its re-engagement with the Agency, and offering to share safeguards-relevant information that could help Syria in providing necessary information and clarifications to the Agency. It is regrettable that Syria has remained unresponsive to the Director General’s initiative.
We continue to call on Syria to cooperate fully and constructively with the IAEA to resolve outstanding safeguards questions related to the Dair Alzour site, and to demonstrate, to the Agency’s satisfaction, that its nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful.
Until Syria returns to full compliance with its safeguards obligations and questions of Syria’s non-compliance are satisfactorily resolved, we request that this item be retained on the agenda for all future meetings of the Board.
Thank you Chair.