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Symposium on International Safeguards: Reflecting on the Past and Anticipating the Future

31 October–4 November 2022, Vienna, Austria

Symposium on International Safeguards 2022

The Symposium

The IAEA holds a Symposium on International Safeguards every four years to bring together global stakeholders in support of IAEA safeguards. It is an opportunity for regulatory authorities, the research and development (R&D) community, industry, and civil society to identify challenges and opportunities for IAEA safeguards, showcase research, share ideas, and build partnerships.

The year 2022 was a special one for the global safeguards community, with important anniversaries marking 60 years of IAEA safeguards inspections, 50 years of comprehensive safeguards agreements (CSAs), and 25 years of additional protocols (APs). The past decades have witnessed developments which have had significant impacts on IAEA safeguards. Adaptation has been the key to success, and these anniversaries offered a unique moment to reflect on what has been achieved and to identify what lies ahead for safeguards implementation.


The objectives of the 2022 Symposium were to:

Reflect — celebrate the historical anniversaries and achievements thus far; build a common understanding of the experience gained that has shaped safeguards; and reflect on the lessons learned from decades of safeguards implementation.

Anticipate — anticipate nuclear energy’s role in addressing global challenges; envisage how the IAEA’s operating environment is likely to evolve over the coming decades; and identify what this means for safeguards by way of both new challenges and new opportunities.

Inspire — based on lessons from the past and insights into the future, to identify actions, stakeholders, and partnerships towards ensuring a safeguards system that is well prepared for continued success in the decades ahead.


The programme featured 70 different sessions, including an opening plenary with an interview with IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi; a ‘Safeguards Timeline’ movie; a keynote speech and panel discussion on ‘Reflecting on the Past’; and a keynote speech and panel discussion on ‘Anticipating the Future’. Over the course of the week, participants focused on various safeguards topics in technical sessions, listened to over 150 presentations, and attended special sessions devoted to exploring future drivers and scenarios. Two special events added a celebratory flair: one celebrating progress on the safeguards legal framework, and an event, held at the Vienna City Hall, featuring a ministerial-level panel on ‘historic firsts’ and a reception celebrating the 50th anniversary of comprehensive safeguards agreements and the 25th anniversary of additional protocols.  The insights gained, and ideas for action generated at the Symposium are now being analyzed and will be captured in deliverables currently under production, including a Symposium report and a video to be published in the first quarter of 2023. 


Some 700 registered participants from 124 States and 15 organizations attended, increasing geographic diversity to the highest level to date for safeguards symposia. Of the registered participants, 36% were women, also the highest share for this Symposium to date. In addition, participants included diplomats and staff from Vienna-based missions and international organizations, as well as some 280 virtual observers from around the world. Youth was also well represented, with several events targeting and featuring younger experts and potential future leaders.


The 2022 Symposium also attraced lively interest among industry and other stakeholders, with some 24 external exhibitors on the margins of the Symposium. 

Symposium Archives

The Symposium’s programme, recordings from the sessions, e-posters, papers, and more can be accessed under the section Papers, Posters and Recordings on the Symposium's website. Click on Programme, select a day, click on a session, and find the materials for each presenter.  

In addition, the Plenary Sessions (Opening and Closing) were streamed publicly and the recordings are available on the IAEA’s streaming archives

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