This month saw another three countries Mali, Chile and South Africa sign Additional Protocols with the IAEA, as part of their commitment to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Additionally, the Agency´s Board of Governors this week approved an Additional Protocol with El Salvador. The Protocols expand the Agency´s capability to detect any undeclared nuclear material and activities. (See the States that have signed Additional Protocols to their IAEA safeguards agreements.)
The latest signatures come with the release of a new IAEA booklet Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Security: IAEA Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols. The booklet explains 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. (See the booklet).
At the Agency´s General Conference in Vienna last week, IAEA Director General, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, said that for the IAEA to provide assurances about nuclear material, it must have the required authority. "The number of safeguards agreements and additional protocols in force remains well below expectations. I urge all States who have not done so to conclude and bring into force the required safeguards agreements and additional protocols at an early date," he said.
The new booklet explains 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.