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U.S. Statement – Agenda Item 4 – IAEA Board of Governors Meeting – September 2023
As Prepared for Ambassador Laura S.H. Holgate, Vienna, Austria, September 11, 2023
September 11, 2023


U.S. Statement – As Prepared for Ambassador Laura S.H. Holgate – Agenda Item 4 – Nuclear Security

Vienna, Austria, September 11, 2023



The Nuclear Security Report 2023 reflects the incredible breadth of the IAEA’s nuclear security work and its positive impact on Member States, and their expanding application and use of nuclear technology.  We appreciate steps taken to foster interdepartmental coordination and program implementation, which is essential to strengthen the Secretariat’s application of results-based management principles.  It is clear from the Report, and increased Member State requests, that the Agency’s central role in nuclear security remains essential.  The increased application of nuclear science coupled with rapidly evolving technology and risks underscores the necessity to incorporate resiliency and enshrine international cooperation into the global nuclear security architecture.   

With nuclear solutions playing an important role in moving to a less carbon-intensive world, we must embrace nuclear technology with not just the safety and security of the environment in mind, but also the security of human life.  As more countries look to advanced and small modular nuclear reactors as tool in the fight against climate change, we welcome IAEA efforts to convene Member States and develop relevant, timely, and consensus-based guidance on their safe and secure deployment and use. 

The Agency’s admirable work towards universalization and full implementation of nuclear security instruments continues to pay dividends.  The Report highlights an increase in ratifications to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its Amendment and political commitments to implement the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and its Supplementary Guidance.  As we mark the Code’s 20th Anniversary this month, we encourage all countries to use that milestone and the upcoming General Conference to announce political commitments to the Code, and we welcome Israel’s recent commitment to the Supplemental Guidance on Disused Sources. 

In two weeks, the IAEA will open the Nuclear Security Training and Demonstration Centre.  We applaud the Secretariat’s efforts in opening this facility on schedule and within budget.  We strongly encourage the Secretariat and all Member States to work together to support the Centre’s sustainability.    

We appreciate the IAEA’s preparations for the fourth International Conference on Nuclear Security in May 2024.  The United States is committed to participating at the Ministerial level and encourages others to do the same.  We should use this opportunity to announce key achievements and future initiatives, in keeping with the conference’s theme of “Shaping the Future.”  We are eager to contribute and look forward to engagement on how we can continue to strengthen global nuclear security.   

We want to extend our congratulations to Norway on the successful downblending of all of its remaining highly enriched uranium to low enriched uranium.  With this important milestone, Norway becomes the 34th country, plus Taiwan, that is considered HEU-free. 

In taking note of the Nuclear Security Report and the Agency’s scope of activities, it is important to highlight that this important mandate of the Agency lacks predictable funding, especially in light of increasing demands.  We therefore encourage all Member States in the position to do so to provide both financial and other in-kind support to enable the Agency to continue this critical work. 

Thank you, Chair. 

U.S. Statement – Agenda Item 4 – IAEA Board of Governors Meeting – September 2023