One hundred nations have now agreed to give the International Atomic Energy Agency more information about their nuclear programmes. The Republic of Chad notified the IAEA yesterday that it has brought into force the Additional Protocol to its safeguards agreement, becoming the 100th country to do so.
The protocol, first approved by the Agency´s Board of Governors in 1997, provides IAEA inspectors with better access to information and locations. Chad´s adoption is an important milestone in the effort to establish a strengthened global nuclear verification regime.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has pushed for universal adherence to the protocol and lauded Chad for its initiative:
"I welcome this latest entry into force and call on all States that have not yet done so to bring into force Additional Protocols without delay," he said. "The Additional Protocol is of vital importance for the Agency to be able to provide credible assurance not only that declared nuclear material is not being diverted from peaceful uses, but also that there are no undeclared nuclear material and activities in a State," he commented.
Over forty years ago, the IAEA was charged by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to verify that nuclear material and activities in non-nuclear-weapon States are not used for military purposes. In 1997, the IAEA Board of Governors adopted additional measures to strengthen the effectiveness and improve the efficiency of the safeguards system as a contribution to global nuclear non-proliferation objectives. The Additional Protocol also improves both the administrative procedures between States party to the NPT and the IAEA, as well as the communication between the inspectors and the IAEA´s Headquarters in Vienna, Austria.