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

Agenda item 4: Nuclear security

IAEA Board of Governors

Agenda Item 4: Nuclear security

11 September 2023

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



In opening, Australia would like to emphasise the unacceptable threat to nuclear security in Ukraine caused by Russia’s illegal, unjust and unprovoked invasion. Russia’s complete and immediate withdrawal from Ukraine is the most effective way of ensuring safety and security at Ukraine’s nuclear facilities.


Australia welcomes the Director General’s Nuclear Security Report 2023.

We commend the Agency’s leadership in assisting member states to improve and maintain effective nuclear security regimes, and in championing best practice, innovation and knowledge sharing.

Ensuring nuclear security regimes are fit for purpose in an ever-changing world is challenging. Emerging risks and threats can pose new obstacles to nuclear security regimes. We commend the Agency for its agile approach to keep abreast of these challenges, to develop updated nuclear security guidance, and to facilitate information sharing between member states.


Australia continues to stress the importance of Member States actively using the Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB). The database serves as a valuable resource for the exchange of information and allows for the identification of trends in vulnerabilities in nuclear security incidents and trafficking around the world.


The theme of ICONS 2024, next year’s International Conference on Nuclear Security, ‘Shaping the Future’, is apt. The conference will provide an opportunity to share information and discuss best practices for ensuring nuclear security in the face of emerging threats. We look forward to the active engagement of all members states in ICONS2024, and to an ambitious Ministerial Declaration that will inform the Agency’s future nuclear security activities.


Australia has always been a strong proponent of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. We greatly appreciate the Agency’s ongoing efforts to promote universalisation of the Amended Convention, and we urge all Member States not yet party to join the Amended Convention and actively implement it.


Australia warmly welcomes the wide range of Agency activities to build capacity in nuclear security. We were honoured to host an international training course on nuclear forensics in Sydney last year and remain committed to building expertise and sharing experiences in nuclear security, particularly in our region.

Furthermore, Australia was pleased to actively participate in the recent International Conference on Computer Security in the Nuclear World: “Security for Safety”. The Conference provided a useful opportunity for information exchange to foster best practice in computer security.


We were pleased to read about the progress being made to advance gender equality and promote workforce diversity in nuclear security. Australia looks forward to further progress in this field, and to seeing concerted efforts to address and dismantle barriers to people in all their diversity entering careers in the nuclear security field.

With these comments, Australia is pleased to take note with approbation of the Nuclear Security Report 2023.

Thank you, Chair.