IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
AUKUS Trilateral Statement on the Adoption of the Agenda
6 June 2022
Thank you Chair,
I take the floor on behalf of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Once again, there are genuinely urgent, pressing issues demanding this Board’s undivided attention. Australia, the UK and the US have made, and continue to make, our position very clear. We believe an agenda item on AUKUS at this time is inappropriate, premature and unnecessary. We are disappointed to see an AUKUS agenda item added to the Board’s agenda again.
AUKUS partners are engaged in an open and transparent consultation process with the IAEA with regard to Australia’s safeguards obligations related to Australia’s acquisition of conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines. We remain fully committed to transparency. Consistent with that commitment, at the March 2022 Board meeting, we provided an AUKUS update under the ‘Any Other Business’ agenda item. At this meeting, we will again update the Board under Any Other Business. We also circulated a non-paper to all Member States in advance of this meeting – as we have done at the March 2022 and November 2021 Board meetings.
I reassert that Australia, the UK and the US do not support the inclusion of an agenda item on AUKUS. We see it as a politically-driven attempt that subtracts from the time available for the Board to address legitimate issues of concern. This is in stark contrast to our demonstrable commitment to transparency.
To be clear, we fully support the Director General’s authority to report to the Board when he deems it appropriate, consistent with established practice for issues of this nature, and the technical independence of the IAEA – and we trust and expect that he will do so.
Despite our sustained objections, we did not block consensus on the adoption of the agenda today. Given the important work before this Board this week, and the finite amount of time available, our priority is the Board being able to proceed swiftly to give its full attention to the most pressing issues of the day.
Thank you, Chair.