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International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts

10–14 February 2020, Vienna, Austria

Nuclear Security Conference 2020

Pre-registration has closed. However, participation is still possible by sending your completed Participation Form (Form A) through the competent official authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or National Atomic Energy Authority) to the IAEA. Should you require the contact details of one of these offices please contact the conference coordinator.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is organizing the third International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts (ICONS 2020) — at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, from 10 to 14 February 2020.

The Conference will feature:

  • A ministerial segment during which ministers will deliver national statements and adopt a Ministerial Declaration; and
  • A scientific and technical programme comprising high-level policy discussions on the overall themes central to nuclear security and parallel technical sessions on related specialized scientific and technical, legal and regulatory issues.

The previous conference, held in 2016, attracted over 2000 participants, including 47 government ministers, from 139 Member States and 29 intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

Purpose and Objectives

The conference will provide a forum for ministers, policymakers, senior officials and nuclear security experts to formulate and exchange views on experiences and achievements, current approaches, future directions and priorities for nuclear security.

The conference will:

  • Raise awareness to maintain and further strengthen national nuclear security regimes as well as international cooperation in strengthening nuclear security globally;
  • Review the current status of nuclear security efforts, existing approaches and trends, and highlight areas that may need more focused attention including technological dimensions;
  • Promote IAEA nuclear security guidance and other international guidelines, and their use by States;
  • Promote the sharing of information and good practices in nuclear security whilst protecting sensitive information;
  • Reaffirm and support the central role of the IAEA in strengthening the nuclear security framework globally and in leading the coordination of international activities in the field of nuclear security, whilst avoiding duplication and overlap;
  • Highlight and promote the IAEA’s efforts and programmes on the nuclear security relevant instruments of the IAEA and the United Nations; and
  • Discuss further enhancements of IAEA nuclear security activities and their sustainability.

Participants are encouraged not to discuss any sensitive nuclear security information.

Consistent with the objectives set out above, the overall themes for the conference, including the topics that will be discussed in the high-level policy discussion sessions, will be the following:

  • International legally and non-legally binding instruments for nuclear security

     - International legal instruments for nuclear security, including universalization of the Amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

    - Promotion of non-binding nuclear security instruments and principles
  • Role of the IAEA in nuclear security

    - Role of the IAEA in the implementation of international instruments related to nuclear security

    - Central role of the IAEA in coordinating efforts and technical support to States, upon their request, for strengthening nuclear security

    - Future focus areas and activities, particularly for the Nuclear Security Plan 2022–2025

    - Coordination measures within the IAEA for effectiveness of its nuclear security programme

    - Nuclear security and the IAEA’s role, considering the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • National nuclear security regimes

    - Physical protection as fundamental to nuclear security

    - Security of nuclear and radioactive material under and out of regulatory control

    - Nuclear security integrated approaches within the national nuclear security framework and linkages with relevant national initiatives

    - Regulatory oversight for nuclear security: practices and challenges

    - Nuclear safety and security interface

    - Sustainability of nuclear security activities

    - IAEA technical support to States for response to nuclear security events including national frameworks
  • Emerging technologies and the digital age

    - New and emerging technologies: opportunities, nuclear security aspects and IAEA assistance to States

    - New and emerging technologies for physical protection

    - Role of information and computer security for nuclear security
  • International cooperation in information exchange, sharing of good practices and broader experience to enhance nuclear security

    - Sustainability of nuclear security efforts globally

    - International cooperation success stories

    - Capacity building, human resource development and enhancements for nuclear security

    - Role of capacity building centres at the national and regional level

    - Role of the IAEA in information exchange on nuclear security

    - Coordination of activities with other organizations and initiatives to avoid duplication

    - IAEA Information Circulars on nuclear security

    - Fostering a culture of nuclear security

Topics for Technical Sessions

The number and scope of the technical sessions will be determined based on the nature and number of synopses received. It is anticipated that the technical sessions may deal with diverse subjects as listed in the Appendix. The guidance on the process for submitting a synopsis has been revised and submitters are encouraged to review it prior to submission.

Target Audience

The conference is aimed at ministers, senior government officials, high-level staff from agencies involved in policy making for, and managing, nuclear security, and technical and legal experts working in all areas of nuclear security. The conference is also intended to attract industry and civil society representatives, including non-governmental organizations and academic institutions. The IAEA welcomes and encourages the participation of women, early career professionals and individuals from developing countries.

Participation and Registration

All persons wishing to participate in the conference are requested to register online in advance through the conference web page (further details below). In addition, they must send a completed Participation Form (Form A) and, if applicable, the Form for Submission of a Paper  (Form B) and/or Grant Application Form (Form C) as soon as possible to a competent official authority (e.g. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Permanent Mission to the IAEA, or National Atomic Energy Authority), or to one of the organizations invited to participate for subsequent transmission to IAEA Official mail.

Submission of Synopses

Anyone wishing to present a paper at the conference — either orally or in the form of a poster — must submit a synopsis of between 400 and 800 words in electronic format through the conference’s web browser-based file submission system (IAEA-INDICO). Please refer to the updated guidelines on this process. Paper copies cannot be accepted.

Registration and Funds

No registration fee is charged to participants.

Limited funds are available to assist certain participants. Approved grants will usually cover only part of the cost of attendance. Please see the conference website for further details.


A limited amount of space will be available for displays/exhibits during the conference. Interested parties should contact the Scientific Secretaries (see Section N) by email by 30 September 2019.

Essay Competition

Students and early career professionals up to 35 years of age are invited to submit innovative and original essays on the topic “Future of Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts”. Submissions are due by Friday, 6 September 2019, at 11:59 p.m., Vienna Time (CET). For more information please refer to the announcement.

Key Deadlines and Dates

  • 1 February 2019: Synopsis submission through IAEA-INDICO opens
  • 31 May 2019: Synopsis submission through IAEA-INDICO closes
  • 14 June 2019: Last day for submission of Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B) (together with Form A) through the competent national authority
  • 14 June 2019: Last day for submission of Grant Application Form (Form C) together with Participation Form (Form A) through the competent national authority
  • 6 September 2019: Last day for submission of entries for the Essay Competition on Nuclear Security for Students and Early Career Professionals
  • 30 September 2019: Notification of acceptance of synopsis
  • 29 November 2019: Submission of full papers due (10 pages maximum)
  • 20 December 2019: Submission of oral presentations, interactive content presentations and posters due


To demonstrate its commitment to sustainability, the IAEA will organize this conference as a 'green meeting' according to the guidelines of the Austrian Ecolabel.

There will be a focus on the areas of paper smart documentation, waste reduction and recycling, and environmentally friendly catering.

Conference app

The IAEA Conferences and Meetings App provides a one-stop access to information on the Conference and  exhibitions. The app also allows users to put together their own personalized schedule of events. Via this app participants will be able to view contributed papers and the latest conference programme, message other participants, and view PowerPoint presentations released after the event. Participants will receive an email inviting them to register for the app approximately one week before the conference.

For iPhone or iPad users, get your free download through the Apple iTunes Store; those with Android devices can visit the Google Play Store

For PC/Mac users, please visit the web page.

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