Belgium and the United Arab Emirates took steps in late 2002 related to the application of IAEA safeguards. Belgium informed the Agency 2 December 2002 that its internal requirements have been met for the entry into force of the Additional Protocol to its safeguards agreement. (The Protocol will enter into force on the date when the IAEA receives written notification from the European Union States and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) that their respective requirements for entry into force have been met). The United Arab Emirates signed a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA 15 December 2002. Both States are party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which names the IAEA as the verification authority.
The Additional Protocol greatly enhances the IAEA's verification capability by endowing it with expanded rights of access to information and to sites, over and above rights provided for in comprehensive safeguards agreements alone. To date, altogether 67 countries have signed Additional Protocols and 28 have brought them into force.
New Safeguards Fact Sheet. A new IAEA fact sheet highlights key aspects of the safeguards system, which is being strengthened in important ways. The IAEA inspectorate verifies nuclear activities and materials at more than 900 facilities worldwide.
The Agency also recently published a booklet that explains the connection between Additional Protocols and Safeguards Agreements. Called Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Security: IAEA Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols, it clarifies the important role of the safeguards system as a credible means to assure the international community that nuclear material and facilities are being used exclusively for peaceful purposes. Sections explain the strengthened safeguards system, the rationale for participating in it, reporting requirements, the assistance provided by the IAEA and, the steps involved in concluding a safeguards agreement and/or an Additional Protocol.