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

Adoption of the Agenda

IAEA Board of Governors

AUKUS Trilateral Statement on the Adoption of the Agenda

16 November 2022

Statement on behalf of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States by H.E Mr Richard Sadleir, Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA


Thank you Chair, good morning colleagues.

I take the floor on behalf of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

We recall that barely eight weeks ago at the September Board meeting, the Director General reported on IAEA safeguards in the context of AUKUS and indicated his satisfaction with the AUKUS partners on our open and transparent engagement with the IAEA. Many Board members engaged in extensive technical discussions on the Director General’s report under an agenda item requested by AUKUS partners. We also recall that, notwithstanding the inclusion of a substantive sub-item under the Nuclear Verification heading after the release of the Director General’s report, China persisted with its unnecessary and politically-motivated request for its own, separate, AUKUS item on the September agenda.


In this context, we regret that China has again chosen to continue to add AUKUS to the Board’s agenda, for no reason other than to politicise Board discussions and undermine the technical mandate of the IAEA. We continue to oppose the inclusion of this politicised, and inappropriate, one-off item.

China’s deliberate mischaracterisation of its request as a so-called ‘standing agenda item’ is also highly inappropriate, and nothing more than a clear attempt to hijack the Board’s authority to manage its own agenda.

In the broader interest of allowing the Board to focus on urgent and substantive matters over the next three days, we have again decided not to take procedural action to remove this item from the agenda.

We note that many Board members have expended significant time and energy these past weeks deliberating on several genuinely pressing matters that are before the Board. It is extremely important that the Board proceeds swiftly to address these matters without further politically motivated disruption.


We support the Director General reporting to the Board when and as he deems it appropriate, as at the September Board. We will continue to update the Board as appropriate in the future.


The AUKUS partners will provide our regular update under Any Other Business.

Thank you, Chair.