Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia

Agenda Item 8b: The Safeguards Implementation Report for 2021

IAEA Board of Govenors Meeting

Agenda Item 8b: The Safeguards Implementation Report for 2021

June 8 2022


Australia thanks the Director General for the 2021 Safeguards Implementation Report (SIR).

The SIR for 2021 highlights how the Agency continues to overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We note that on many metrics, the intensity of IAEA safeguards activities during 2021 has been higher than pre-pandemic levels.

We commend the Secretariat for ensuring the continued application of safeguards throughout the pandemic.


The SIR highlights the long-term trend of increasing demands on the Agency to implement effective verification in the context of a growing quantity of nuclear material under IAEA safeguards.

We welcome the work done by the Agency in encouraging States to conclude new safeguards agreements or update existing agreements to modern verification standards. We call upon all States that have yet to bring an Additional Protocol into force to do so as soon as possible.

We welcome that, in the reporting period, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Eritrea, the Federated States of Micronesia, Maldives, Saint Lucia, Sudan and Zimbabwe all, either updated existing or concluded, new safeguards agreements or amended the Small Quantities Protocols. We also welcome that Malta and the United Arab Emirates rescinded SQPs.


It is extremely concerning that Russia's unprovoked, unjust and illegal invasion of Ukraine has undermined the essential safeguards work of the IAEA. Australia calls on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory and return control of Ukrainian nuclear sites to the Ukrainian authorities.

Due to Russia’s actions, and in circumstances involving no fault on the part of Ukraine or the IAEA, the IAEA was prevented from conducting necessary safeguards activities. We note the IAEA’s evaluation that based on the safeguards relevant information available to it, the Agency does not find indications that would give rise to proliferation concern.

We thank the Secretariat for its technical rigour and professionalism in reporting on these matters.


We note the SIR should contain enough detail to enable Member States to understand the operation of the Agency’s safeguards system and assess the effectiveness of safeguards implementation.

We thank the Secretariat for its continued work to develop the SIR to improve its presentation, content and accessibility.

Finally Chair,

Australia notes the Director General’s acknowledgement of the trilateral AUKUS effort, and the commitment of AUKUS partners to ensuring the highest safeguards standards are met. As we have noted on many occasions, we look forward to providing a trilateral update under Any Other Business.


Australia notes the Agency’s SIR for 2021 as contained in GOV/2022/25, and we ask that the Safeguards Statement for 2021 and the Background to the Safeguards Statement and Summary be made publicly available.