Safeguards Implementation at the State Level

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

September 9-13, 2013

Agenda Item 6.b

The Conceptualization and Development of Safeguards Implementation at the State Level

U.S. statement as delivered by Ambassador Macmanus

U.S. Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency


Mr. Chairman,


I would like to thank the Secretariat for its clear and concise report on safeguards implementation at the state level, and for the valuable technical briefing provided to Member States last week.  The state-level concept is an essential and logical phase in the evolution of the IAEA safeguards system.  We believe it is necessary in order to maintain the Agency’s ability to fulfill its core verification mandate in light of the limited resources available to the Agency.


As the Director General’s report makes clear, the Secretariat’s implementation of the SLC is based on a number of core principles, which arise directly from the Agency’s existing legal authority and longstanding guidance from the Board of Governors:

•          Safeguards implementation should be non-discriminatory and technically based, with a central role for nuclear material accountancy.

•          Safeguards effectiveness is paramount – efforts to reduce costs should not compromise effectiveness.

•          Sensitive information must be protected.

•          The Secretariat should draw objective, independent conclusions, and report on them to the Board.

•          Above all, safeguards implementation is governed by the applicable legal authority.

We hope other Board members will join us in welcoming this reaffirmation of core principles.


The Director General’s report explains the history behind the conceptualization and development of the SLC, recalling many of the fundamental advances made to the safeguards system over the course of the past two decades.


The current report from the Director General focuses on the implementation of safeguards in states with Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements.  We welcome the DG’s clarification in his opening statement for this session of the Board that “The state-level concept is applicable to all States, within the terms of the specific safeguards agreement in force for each.”


Mr. Chairman,

The Director General’s report makes clear that safeguards will be implemented in accordance with the legal agreements in force between the Agency and each state and with the guidance of the Board.  Only objective state factors should be used to determine safeguards implementation.  In this regard, we note that the report clearly lists six such state-specific factors.  We view this list as comprehensive, and should any further objective state factors be identified in the future, these would be reported to the Board.


Furthermore, we believe that the Secretariat should give high priority to collecting objective data, first and foremost through inspections, in order to address questions and inconsistencies and to resolve discrepancies and anomalies.  The Secretariat also should analyze any information relevant to safeguards, determine pursuant to such analysis whether to take further steps to investigate credible indications of undeclared activities, and, if such activities are found to take place, report them to the Board.


Based on the core principles articulated in the report and the technical briefing, we are confident that the Secretariat will rely solely on objective data in drawing safeguards conclusions and developing implementation plans.


With these observations, the United States is pleased to take note of the Director General’s report contained in GOV/2013/38.  We welcome the commitment of the Secretariat to continue to report, as appropriate, on the Agency’s implementation of safeguards at the state level.


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.