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

IAEA 66th General Conference: Trilateral statement on behalf of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States

66th Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference

Trilateral statement on behalf of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States

H.E Ambassador Richard Sadleir, Governor and Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA

30 September 2022


Thank you, President,

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

As we reported to the Board of Governors only two weeks ago, we are now one year into our 18-month consultation period with AUKUS partners, and we are pleased with the progress made in our discussions so far. We remain firmly committed to engaging openly and transparently with all IAEA Member States on Australia’s safeguards obligations related to the AUKUS endeavour.

Over the past year, senior officials and technical experts held regular trilateral discussions in our capitals. We have also met with the Director General, the IAEA’s AUKUS taskforce and the IAEA Secretariat in Vienna on multiple occasions and such meetings will continue as we engage with the Agency to develop a safeguards approach that will meet all IAEA technical objectives.

President, the Director General reported to the Board only two weeks ago on this issue. The Director General’s report to the Board reaffirms his mandate under the Statute, and pursuant to Australia’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, to engage with Australia and its partners in the development and implementation of safeguards measures related to naval nuclear propulsion.

The report confirmed that we remain in full compliance with our non-proliferation obligations, and  that the Director General remains satisfied with the AUKUS partners on our open and transparent engagement with the IAEA.

President, we will continue to oppose attempts to establish parallel processes to the existing safefuards regime. Such proposals threaten to undermine the provisions of Australia’s Board-approved CSA, and all Member States’ CSAs. All Member States should be deeply troubled by the precedent that would be set for the effective reinterpretation of existing CSAs.

President, all Member States have a right to engage bilaterally with the IAEA Director General and Secretariat on safeguards issues. We must protect this right.

We will not respond to all the mischaracterisations we have just heard. The report of the Director General speaks for itself.

We will also not repeat all of the points we have made in our many statements to the Board and elsewhere. Our commitment to our non-proliferation obligations is clear, as is our commitment to ongoing open and transparent engagement with the IAEA. We commend the Director General and the Secretariat, for their ongoing professionalism in approaching this issue.

I thank you, and commend you on the excellence of your presidency.