IAEA BoG – U.S. on the Nuclear Security Report 2021 and Nuclear Security Plan 2022-2025

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Agenda Item 3: Nuclear Security: Nuclear Security Report 2021, and Nuclear Security Plan 2022-2025

U.S. statement as delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Louis Bono
Vienna, Austria, September 13, 2021

Good evening, Madam Chair,

The United States places great importance on the IAEA’s nuclear security mission and fully supports the Secretariat’s central role in coordinating and strengthening nuclear security globally. Far from hampering access, effective nuclear security underpins the peaceful use of nuclear energy and enhances the positive public perception of nuclear technologies and their associated applications.

The United States welcomes the publication of the 2021 Nuclear Security Report. The Report clearly demonstrates the continued progress that the Division of Nuclear Security has made in implementing its nuclear security program, despite the pandemic. The detailed Report, especially section C, provides Member States the opportunity to better understand and appreciate the scope of the Agency’s important efforts in this area. We also continue to encourage the inter-departmental coordination and cooperation documented in the report.

We express our appreciation for the 2022-2025 Nuclear Security Plan and commend the Secretariat for its hard work to resolve comments in a balanced and transparent way under the challenging circumstances presented by COVID-19. We believe the plan reflects the valuable activities that the Division of Nuclear Security undertakes at the request of Member States. We strongly believe that these activities directly contribute to Member States’ abilities to cooperate on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and we note that nuclear security in no way hinders such cooperation.

We remain open to working with the IAEA and all Member States to implement the 2022-2025 Nuclear Security Plan, especially as we find ways to increase the understanding of how nuclear security activities benefit Member States while still respecting national sovereignty. By working together, we can ensure that peaceful nuclear activities are not exploited for nefarious purposes.

We welcome the Agency’s continued preparations for the March 2022 Review Conference of the States Parties to the Amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and hope States Parties’ national preparations are also underway. We appreciate the Division’s continued outreach activities to promote universalization and implementation and encourage all Member States to ratify the CPPNM and its Amendment and to submit their laws and regulations in accordance with Article 14. In this regard, we welcome the Philippines becoming a party this year and commend the Republic of Korea for submitting its information under Article 14.

The United States welcomes the progress on the establishment of the Nuclear Security Training and Demonstration Centre at Seibersdorf and looks forward to its success under the leadership of DG Grossi, DDG Evrard, and Director Buglova. We hope the Center will become a vital and complementary resource of the Agency as it works with Member States to strengthen their national nuclear security regimes. The United States looks forward to continued cooperation between Member States and the Secretariat to ensure that the Center will be impactful and sustainable.

With these remarks, the United States takes note of the Nuclear Security Report 2021 and welcomes the approval of the 2022-2025 NSP today as it will contribute to a safer and more secure tomorrow.

Thank you, Madam Chair.