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

Agenda item 6(f): Naval Nuclear Propulsion: Brazil

IAEA Board of Governors

Agenda Item 6(f): Naval Nuclear Propulsion: Brazil

7 June 2023

Statement by H.E Ambassador Ian Biggs, Governor and Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA



Australia thanks the Director General for his report on Brazil’s naval nuclear propulsion (NNP) program.

We welcome the engagement between Brazil, ABACC and the IAEA on the application of special procedures for Brazil’s NNP program under the Quadripartite Safeguards Agreement.

All Member States have the right to confidential bilateral discussions with the IAEA Secretariat, and it is vital that the Secretariat remains the independent, competent, technical authority on the development and implementation of safeguards arrangements.

We recognise that the Agency’s role in relation to NNP is foreseen in the existing legal framework and is within its statutory competences. The Director General has also been unequivocal in confirming that the Agency has the technical capacity to develop safeguards approaches for naval nuclear propulsion, in accordance with the Statute.

To ensure the highest standard of non-proliferation, any such arrangement should allow the IAEA to continue to meet its technical objectives throughout the lifecycle of an NNP program. We note the Director General’s advice to this Board that any such arrangement, once finalised, will be transmitted to the Board for appropriate action.

We continue to oppose calls for parallel processes, which risk undermining the Secretariat’s technical independence, and open the IAEA’s implementation of member states’ Board-approved safeguards agreements to outside political interference.

The Board is the appropriate place for any discussion on safeguards implementation. We welcome the Director General’s commitment to keep the Board appraised of developments and look forward to updates as discussions between the IAEA, ABACC and Brazil progress.

Thank you, Chair.