Safeguards Noncompliance: A Challenge for the IAEA and the UN Security Council

By Goldschmidt, Pierre | Arms Control Today, January/February 2010 | Go to article overview

Safeguards Noncompliance: A Challenge for the IAEA and the UN Security Council


Goldschmidt, Pierre, Arms Control Today


Compliance with safeguards obligations is a fundamental part of a country's participation in the global nuclear nonproliferation regime. The issue of compliance was central to the contentious discussions at the 2005 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference and is likely to play a similar role at the 2010 conference.

The main objective of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as set out in its statute, is to promote "the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health, and prosperity throughout the world" while ensuring that nuclear material, equipment, facilities, and information are not used for any military purpose.1 The IAEA carries out the latter part of this mandate by establishing and implementing safeguards.

In fulfilling its nonproliferation mandate, the most important task of the IAEA is the prompt detection and reporting of unauthorized nuclear work in any nonnuclear-weapon state that is a party to the NPT. This unauthorized work may involve the diversion of nuclear material from declared facilities as well as undeclared nuclear material and activities.

IAEA inspections are designed to ensure that countries are complying with their commitments under their safeguards agreements. The UN Security Council indicated the importance of noncompliance by addressing it in the first operative paragraph of Resolution 1887, which the council adopted on September 24, 2009, during the United Nations' summit on nonproliferation and disarmament.2

Nevertheless, the international community must go beyond that resolution by adopting a refined and strengthened approach toward cases of safeguards noncompliance, which, as discussed below, has several elements. One element is how the IAEA Department of Safeguards should distinguish between cases of noncompliance that should be reported to the IAEA Board of Governors as "non-compliance" in accordance with Article XII.C of the IAEA statute and cases that constitute only technical or legal compliance failures and therefore need be reported only in the annual Safeguards Implementation Report, if at all.3 The board, when it finds that the agency is unable to resolve a case of noncompliance promptly, should not hesitate to request additional verification rights from the UN Security Council. The latter, in turn, should take steps to improve the likelihood of prompt and effective action when confronted with persistent cases of noncompliance or with withdrawal from the NPT.

The Safeguards Department's Role

In examining IAEA responsibilities, it is necessary to distinguish between the respective roles of the secretariat and the board. The IAEA Secretariat is the technical arm of the agency in charge of detecting any technical or legal noncompliance with the safeguards agreements concluded between the IAEA and a state. The secretariat is expected to perform this task in the most objective and nondiscriminatory way possible, without the influence of any political considerations.

The fact that there is no official definition of what constitutes noncompliance should not be used as an excuse by the secretariat for not reporting promptly, fully, and factually any significant or intentional failure or breach of safeguards undertakings, including those of agreed "subsidiary arrangements."4

In judging whether a failure is intentional, the Department of Safeguards should, inter alia, take into account whether any state organization, including the state system of accounting for and control of nuclear material, knew of undeclared nuclear material (whatever its quantity), facilities, or activities that should have been declared to the IAEA.

Denying access to a declared or suspected facility or location, as well as not allowing inspectors to take environmental samples as requested by the IAEA, is by definition intentional. If such a denial is prolonged, for example, more than a few days unless for legitimate safety reasons, it must be promptly reported by the Department of Safeguards to the director-general as a matter of concern. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Safeguards Noncompliance: A Challenge for the IAEA and the UN Security Council
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.