Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Austria
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Agenda Item 7(c) (SIR): The Safeguards Implementation Report for 2017

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

Statement by HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA

Agenda Item 7(c) (SIR): The Safeguards Implementation Report for 2017

5 June 2018


 

Thank you, Chair.

 

Australia notes the Agency’s Safeguards Implementation Report for 2017, as contained in GOV/2018/19.

 

Chair,

 

The 2017 SIR highlights the increasing demands on the Agency in undertaking its verification mandate.

It describes the challenges the Agency faces in implementing safeguards in an environment containing an ever-increasing quantity of nuclear material.

For example, the SIR shows that in the last year there has been an increase of over 13 significant quantities per day.

This follows an increase of 10 significant quantities per day in 2016.

At the same time, the Agency must also effectively manage safeguards implementation at a growing number of increasingly complex facilities.

And – in addition to its standard verification work – the Agency has – under the JCPOA – been verifying and monitoring safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran, while working to maintain readiness to return to North Korea, should that need arise.

Therefore, noting the developing gap between the Agency’s safeguards implementation obligations and its budget, Australia welcomes the Agency’s advice on how we can provide assistance to mitigate budget pressures.

 

Chair,

 

In this context, Australia commends the efforts of the Agency to improve, streamline and modernise safeguards approaches, to ensure sustainable maximum effectiveness.

In particular, we strongly support the State Level Concept because we believe it can deliver greater effectiveness and efficiency while working within existing legal authorities.

 

Chair,

 

Australia believes that full implementation of the State Level Concept is necessary for the continuing evolution of effective safeguards implementation.

For this reason, we welcome the development and implementation of SLAs for a large number of Member States, and we look forward to SLAs being applied to all Member States as soon as possible.

Australia is also pleased to note the progress made to develop new applications to improve the performance of the safeguards information system under the MOSAIC project, and the Agency’s efforts to adapt to – and to adopt – emerging technologies.

 

Chair,

 

The Safeguards Implementation Report is an important technical document.

The purpose of the SIR – as first recommended by the Director General to the Board in 1977 – is to: “make available to the Board more detailed information on the application of Agency safeguards and thus enable it to assess their effectiveness”.

Consequently, Australia believes the SIR should continue to evolve to ensure it contains enough detail and context to enable the Board to fully assess the performance and effectiveness of safeguards implementation.

For this reason we would welcome the inclusion of more detailed information in future SIRs, and we ask that information be presented in a manner that enables analysis of trends and identification of any significant areas of concern for safeguards implementation.

 

Chair,

 

Australia welcomes the release of the Safeguards Statement for 2017, and of the Background to the Safeguards Statement and Summary.

And we join others in congratulating Mr Max Aparo on his appointment to DDG Safeguards.

 

Thank you.