In 2007, the IAEA marked significant progress in its mission to make the world safer by providing assurances regarding the peaceful nature of States´ nuclear activities. Over the last 12 months, six comprehensive safeguards agreements pursuant to the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) were approved by the IAEA Board of Governors while one came into force. Further, four States signed additional protocol (AP) agreements, bringing the total number of signatories to 116. Additionally, ten States accepted the revised 2005 small quantities protocol (SQP) text, a protocol originally developed in 1971 to simplify certain procedures under comprehensive safeguards agreements for States that have little or no nuclear material.
Currently, safeguards agreements are in force with 163 States, and more than 80% of States with safeguards-significant nuclear activities have signed AP agreements. These enable the IAEA to draw safeguards conclusions about the non-diversion of declared nuclear material and the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities by providing the Agency with better verification tools.
During 2007, the IAEA continued to promote its safeguards activities through outreach efforts that include regional, interregional and national seminars. In addition to a national seminar on the additional protocol held in Vietnam in August 2007, outreach consultations regarding safeguards instruments were conducted in Austria, Botswana, Switzerland, and the US.
Such outreach activities also constitute opportunities to provide training to State authorities and share information on the development and strengthening of State Systems of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Material (SSACs). SSACs are a vital component of effective safeguards implementation, as they keep track of nuclear material and activities. Through its legislative and technical assistance programmes, the IAEA helps States develop the laws and regulations that allow SSACs to operate and interact with national or international entities (such as the IAEA) on safeguards implementation matters.