AUKUS Trilateral Statement – Delivered by Ambassador Corinne Kitsell – Agenda Item 8 – Transfer of Nuclear Materials on the Context of AUKUS
Vienna, Austria, June 7, 2023
Thank you Chair,
I take the floor on behalf of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The AUKUS partners believe that this is an unnecessary and duplicatory agenda item. This Board has already had a substantive discussion under an agenda item 6(e) on the basis of a report from the Director General. It is extraordinary that one Member States has attempted to “disassociate” from the Director General’s item.
We refer Board members to our statement on naval nuclear propulsion in Australia earlier in this Board, and also to the note verbale from AUKUS partners distributed on 2 June in response to the inclusion of this additional agenda item. We continue to oppose proposals for a standing agenda item or a new ‘intergovernmental’ or other parallel process, which would risk undermining the independent technical mandate of the IAEA. In keeping with our open and transparent approach, we will continue to update the Board and Member States on our ongoing engagement with the IAEA as appropriate.
And since at least one Board state seems to be unaware of the extensive and transparent information provided by the AUKUS partners since the announcement of the submarine project in September 2021, we encourage anyone interested to refer to our multiple statements to the Board recorded on GovAtom; our working paper to the NPT RevCon last year; our non-paper from September 2022; Australia’s letters to the Director General (see INFCIRC/1079); and this 58-page public report, a copy of which can be collected from the Australian delegation.
We continue to reject the mischaracterisations we have heard today. We hope this agenda item will swiftly conclude and that the Board be allowed to return to the truly urgent and critical matters before us.
Thank you Chair.