Topnews, Statements

10. June 2015



Madame Chairperson,

South Africa associates itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the NAM on this item by the distinguish Ambassador of Iran.

My delegation thanks the Director-General and the Secretariat for the Safeguards Implementation Report, and the technical briefing by DDG Tero Varjoranta and his team on 26 May 2015.

Madame Chairperson,

South Africa welcomes the Safeguards Implementation Report 2014, which records the Agency’s observations and findings on States’ implementation of their safeguards obligations.  This Report is important because Safeguards contribute to mutual confidence in the peaceful nature of a State’s nuclear activities and the absence of undeclared nuclear activities or material, which in turn would greatly facilitate the transfer of nuclear technology and use of nuclear energy especially to the developing countries.

We are pleased that during the reporting period, of the 118 states with both comprehensive safeguards agreements and additional protocol in force:

1.           The Agency found no indication of undeclared nuclear material or activities from peaceful nuclear activities in 65 States;

2.           The Agency found no indication of diversion of declared nuclear material from peaceful nuclear activities in 53 states.

However, it is noted in the Report that evaluation regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities for each of these 53 states remain on-going. It would assist if more information about the timelines and challenges could be shared so as to develop an understanding of when key milestones would be achieved in this regard.

Madame Chairperson,

One of the significant developments during the period under review was the discussion between the Agency and Member States on the State Level Approaches.  These discussions were important because they provided Member States with more information particularly on how the Agency implements Safeguards.  We welcomed from these consultations the assurance by the Director-General that the development and implementation of state level approaches would be done in close consultation with the state concerned. 

This undertaking is essential because the safeguards are the most sensitive part of the Agency’s work, and thus their implementation and subsequently their findings should be unquestionable. We welcome an undertaking contained in the Safeguards Implementation Report 2014 to improve the key processes supporting safeguards implementation and departmental oversight mechanisms relevant to the implementation of these processes. As we do these, we should continuously pose a question – who police the police? We hope that there will be greater transparency and consultation with Member States especially on the strengthening of the oversight mechanism.

Madame Chairperson,

We have carefully analysed the expenditure and resources incurred by the Agency in implementing safeguards in each country. We would like to know how the implementation of state - level - approaches particularly in countries like South Africa with - a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement; an Additional Protocol and: a Broader Conclusion – would impact on the resources deployed: both human and financial.

This is important because in paragraph 13 of the Report it is indicated that following the implementation of integrated safeguards in countries with both a Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement and an Additional Protocol where the Agency has drawn a broader conclusion, there will be an increased assurance of the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities for the state as a whole, with the reduction in the intensity of inspection activities at declared facilities and locations outside facilities (LOFs). 

In the recent budget discussion and other meetings of the policy making organs of the IAEA, we know of significant investment and deployment of modern technology as part of verification measures. We expect that this should also reduce the human inspection activities and the days spend by inspectors on the ground.

Madame Chairperson,

My delegation also wishes to highlight one important issue which is of particular importance: the protection of safeguards confidential information.  It is critical that the Agency should continue to enhance internal processes with regards to how it handles sensitive and confidential information obtained from Member States during the process of verification.

We note the continuing efforts of the Secretariat to protect classified safeguards information, including the completion of work on defining the scope of the modernization of safeguards information technology (MOSAIC) project. We encourage the Agency to continue to review and update the established procedures for the protection of classified safeguards information within the Secretariat. This process should also look at how information may be passed on to unauthorised persons.

Finally, Madame Chairperson, my delegation wishes to commend especially the DDG for the Safeguards Department for the open and transparent manner in which he responds to concerns that are brought to his attention.  However, we wish to urge him to ensure that a similar approach is replicated at all levels of his Department. We hope that this will be addressed as you review the training programme for the safeguards personnel.

With these remarks my delegation takes note of the SIR for 2014 contained in document GOV/2015/30 and support the recommended action.

I thank you,

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