10. September 2013

Statement by Ambassador Xolisa Mabhongo, Resident Representative/Governor of the Republic of South Africa, International Atomic Energy Agency, Board of Governors


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South Africa attaches great importance to an effective safeguards system and has always worked closely with the Agency to ensure that it can fulfil its safeguards and verification mandate in my country.  South Africa has also repeatedly expressed its support, for any measures that may strengthen the safeguards system, both in its statements delivered in the Board, as well as in its engagements in other fora.


My delegation thanks the Director-General for his report GOV/2013/38 on the  Conceptualisation and Development of Safeguards Implementation at the State Level and thanks  Deputy Director General, Mr. Nackaerts, and his team for the briefing given on 3 September 2013.  We would also like to thank the Director-General for his introductory remarks as well as those of Mr Naeckerts which sought to provide further explanation of the issue.

We have noted the Director General’s comments that the SLC is applicable to all states. We are however, concerned that the report focuses only on implementation of safeguards at the State level in States with Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements in force.  From previous SIR reports, most notably those for 2010 and 2011, as well as statements made by the Agency’s safeguards officials, it was our understanding that  the SLC is applicable to all States with safeguards agreements in force and that the implementation of safeguards will be non-discriminatory, in other words also applicable to States with Voluntary Offer Agreements (VOA) and INFCIRC/66-type agreements.

South Africa is of the opinion that to strengthen the safeguards system, all Member States must be subject to safeguards implementation at the State level. If those Member States with highly developed nuclear technologies and industries are excluded, the Safeguards picture would be incomplete. Furthermore, we fear that this discriminatory approach will politicise safeguards even further and will ultimately undermine the effectiveness of IAEA safeguards.


South Africa also shares the concerns expressed by the NAM and of other Member States that both the report and the briefing require further elaboration. We also agree with all those delegations who feel that more discussions on this matter are still required before it can be finalised.   My delegation calls on the Director General to provide a comprehensive report on this issue, which would include an explanation on how the SLC will be implemented in all Member States.  Such a report would enable Member States to engage constructively on this matter.

This concludes my remarks on GOV/ 2013/38.

Thank you.

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