IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
Agenda Item 5: Nuclear Security
13 September 2022
I welcome the Director General’s Nuclear Security Report for 2022.
In opening, I wish to highlight the unacceptable threat to nuclear security in Ukraine as a direct result of Russia’s illegal, unjust and unprovoked invasion. We are gravely concerned by risks to the security of nuclear and other radioactive material in Ukraine, as outlined in the Director General’s second summary report. Russia’s ongoing occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant constitutes an unprecedented threat to nuclear safety and security.
As I have said before to this Board, the most effective way of ensuring nuclear safety and security in Ukraine – clearly - is Russia’s complete and immediate withdrawal from Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities must be allowed to conduct their duties without outside interference, threat and unacceptable working conditions, to ensure no further compromise of the seven indispensable pillars of nuclear safety and security outlined by the Director-General to this Board.
I offer now some specific comment on the publication of the Director General’s Nuclear Security Report 2022.
We thank the Secretariat and the Agency for their vital contributions to strengthening global nuclear security. We further commend the Agency’s leadership in assisting member states to improve their capacity to maintain effective and sustainable nuclear security regimes, and in championing best practice, innovation and knowledge sharing.
Active use of the Incident and Trafficking Database by both Member States and many international organisations demonstrates its ongoing value. Australia appreciates the agency’s analytical reporting of the database, which allows Member States to form their own understanding of potential trends and underlying factors in nuclear security incidents and trafficking around the world. Australia encourages all Member States to actively share incident reports and lessons learned via the database.
Australia was pleased by the outcomes of the first Review Conference of the Amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials. Discussions on enhancing physical protection, on universalisation, on criminalisation and on expanded international cooperation in these areas were invaluable. We welcome the prospect of a second Review Conference by 2028.
Enhancing cybersecurity, which is foundational to effective nuclear security, was a point of significant discussion at the Review Conference. Australia supports the range of IAEA activities to build capacity and highlight best practices in addressing cyber threats, including through strengthening the protection of sensitive information and computer-based systems, and recognising, assessing and responding to potential and actual cyber threats at nuclear related facilities.
Australia commends the Director General and the Agency on promoting workforce diversity, including gender equality and geographical diversity in its nuclear security activities. We note continued Agency championship and leadership on gender equality in nuclear security and encourage continued efforts in that regard.
With these comments, Australia takes note of the Nuclear Security Report 2022.
Thank you, Chair.