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G8 Summit Reiterates Support for IAEA Work

G8 leaders at the summit in Germany

Leaders of the Group of 8 leading industrialized countries on the pier at Heiligendam, Germany. (Photo: REGIERUNGonline/Gebhardt)

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Leaders of the Group of 8 leading industrialized countries reiterated support for key areas of the IAEA´s work at their annual summit held 6-8 June at Heilegendamm, Germany, including initiatives for multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle.

G8 leaders adopted a statement on non-proliferation reaffirming the summit´s commitment to the multilateral system as the basis for all non-proliferation efforts and the need to strengthen verification and enforcement.

The G8 statement noted that proposals for multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle are being presented to the IAEA Board, which is meeting is Vienna this week. "We are now looking forward to the suggestions that the IAEA Director General will be presenting to the Board of Governors", the statement said. The G8 will consider the suggestions taking account of criteria such as the added value they bring to the non-proliferation regime, confidence in the reliability of supply assurances, compatibility with Article IV of the NPT, and the need to avoid unnecessary interference or disturbance with the functioning of existing commercial markets.

The statement also stresses the G8´s commitment to continue working to make "the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement together with an Additional Protocol as the universally accepted verification standard for the peaceful use undertakings of the NPT".

The G8 statement also stressed the importance of developing and implementing mechanisms of multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle as a possible alternative to pursuing national enrichment and reprocessing activities.

In the area of nuclear safety and security, the G8 countries declared their joint commitment to the "nuclear safety first" principle, recognizing that international conventions and IAEA standards form a good basis for the continuous improvement of national nuclear regulatory systems and nuclear safety.

G8 countries include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States. The European Union also participates in the summit which takes place once a year. The next summit will be in Hokkaido Toyako, Japan in July 2008.