Leaders of the Group of 8 leading industrialized countries (G8) reaffirmed their full support of the IAEA at their annual summit held 6-8 July in Gleneagles, Scotland. In a six page statement, the G8 endorsed IAEA efforts in the fields of nuclear non-proliferation and measures to improve the security of radioactive sources world wide.
Climate change was also a major focus of the summit, with G8 nations agreeing to "accelerate deployment of cleaner technologies, particular lower-emitting technologies". Nuclear power emits virtually no greenhouse gases. The G8 issued an action plan to tackle global warming, incorporating new approaches to international co-operation on clean energy technology between the developed and the developing world.
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.
The G8 statement on non-proliferation included:
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
The G8 pledged to redouble efforts to uphold and strengthen the NPT, declaring it remained the cornerstone of nuclear non-proliferation. The IAEA is the verification authority of the Treaty, inspecting nuclear and related facilities under safeguards agreements with more than 140 countries.
The G8 endorsed IAEA safeguards as "an essential tool for the effective implementation of the NPT". "We are working for the implementation of a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol to become the universally accepted norm for verifying compliance with NPT safeguards obligations".
"The Additional Protocol must become an essential new standard in the field of nuclear supply arrangements," the statement said. The G8 called on all States that are not party to the NPT, an IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol to accede without delay.
Enrichment and Reprocessing Technology
The G8 leaders declared "we will work together with all interested partners for a way forward which provides genuine access [to nuclear technologies] while minimising the risks of proliferation." The leaders welcomed the efforts of the Expert Group, established by the IAEA´s Director General, which issued a report on multinational approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle earlier this year.
Nuclear Safety and Security
G8 nations welcomed the continued cooperation with the IAEA in the area of nuclear and radiological safety and security, including on strengthening regulatory infrastructures. It urged countries to sign the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.
Radioactive Source Safety and Security
The G8 nations pledged to strengthen cooperation to improve the security of radioactive sources globally. They welcomed the fact that more than 70 countries had committed to implement the IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and urged all other States to adopt the Code. "We welcome the IAEA endorsement of the international import and export framework for the control of radioactive sources. We will work towards having effective controls applied by the end of 2005, in a harmonised and consistent manner."
See Story Resources for the full statement.