The IAEA has recently signed two "practical cooperation arrangements" with China and Qatar aimed at assisting the two countries to develop their nuclear security regimes.
According to the terms of the arrangements, the IAEA will cooperate with and support China and Qatar to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of nuclear security in a number of areas. This will include:
- Advising the two Member States on physical protection measures for nuclear facilities;
- Helping to provide equipment for the prevention and detection of criminal acts involving nuclear and other radioactive material; and
- Providing information related to illicit trafficking and other unauthorised activities.
The arrangements also include the possibility for the IAEA to provide nuclear security consultation, advisory missions, training and assistance in response to nuclear or radiological security incidents if requested. In addition, the Agency will help develop cooperation among various national authorities. As part of the arrangement signed with China, the IAEA and the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) intend to work together to enhance nuclear security arrangements for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
The arrangements signed with China and Qatar cover activities which are part of the IAEA´s plan, known as "IAEA Nuclear Security Plan for 2006-2009", to assist Member States in building and implementing better nuclear security regimes. The plan´s objective is to achieve improved worldwide security of nuclear and other radioactive material in use, storage and transport, and of associated facilities, by supporting Member States in their efforts to establish, maintain and sustain effective national nuclear security regimes.
The arrangement with the Supreme Council for the Environment and Natural Reserves of Qatar was signed on 8 June while that with CAEA was signed on 13 June. Both arrangements were signed at the IAEA´s headquarters in Vienna. The arrangement signed with the CAEA also calls for the two parties to cooperate in the development and upgrading of a CAEA-IAEA Joint Training Centre, allowing it to serve as a regional training centre for physical protection and nuclear material accountancy and control.
IAEA assistance and technical support to Member States in the field of nuclear security has taken on various forms in the past years. For example, in 2004 the Agency assisted Greece with the implementation of a nuclear security plan for the Athens Olympic Games. In 2006, it signed a practical cooperation arrangement with Pakistan and, more recently, the IAEA signed an arrangement with Brazil relating to the security of the 15th Pan-American Games taking place in Rio de Janeiro on 13-29 July 2007. The IAEA also has an on-going agreement with France covering the field of nuclear security dating back to 2005.