Mexico this week signed an Additional Protocol to its safeguards agreement with the IAEA, bringing to 82 the number of countries that have signed the protocol for strengthened safeguards measures. Regarding international conventions, several countries recently notified the IAEA of their decisions to join global conventions on aspects of safety and security.
Mexico's Additional Protocol - which was signed 29 March in Vienna by Mexico's Minister of Energy, Ambassador Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, and IAEA Director General ElBaradei - was approved by the IAEA Board of Governors at its recent meetings in March. To date, 82 countries have signed Additional Protocols to their safeguards agreements with the IAEA. However, only 39 Additional Protocols have entered into force. The Additional Protocol is a legal document granting the IAEA complementary inspection authority to that provided in underlying safeguards agreements. A principal aim is to enable the IAEA inspectorate to provide assurance about both declared and possible undeclared activities.
Regarding international conventions under IAEA auspices, countries that recently notified the IAEA of decision to join include:
- Lithuania, which deposited its instrument of ratification 16 March 2004 for the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management
- Qatar, which deposited its instrument of accession 9 March 2004 for the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
- Algeria, which deposited its instruments of ratification 15 January 2004 for the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Emergency, as well as for the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident