Nuclear Watchdog Steps Up Drive to Strengthen Global Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: February 2, 2022; 12:54 ♦ (Vindobona)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is seeking to convince more countries to join in giving IAEA inspectors wider access to locations and information as part of a push to further bolster the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Grossi wants more than 40 countries to add an Additional Protocol (AP) to their Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) and grant the U.N. watchdog the broader verification powers it needs. / Picture: © IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency / YouTube Screenshot

It is the latest initiative by Director General Rafael Grossi to support the full implementation of a long-standing annual resolution adopted by Member States on strengthening IAEA safeguards activities carried out to verify that nuclear material is not used for weapons purposes.

A quarter of a century ago, the IAEA Board of Governors approved an effective new inspection tool known as the Additional Protocol (AP) to plug gaps in the international safeguards system set up to ensure exclusively peaceful uses of the atom consistent with the 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Nearly 140 countries have since implemented the Additional Protocol in addition to their safeguards agreements with the IAEA, providing the agency with enhanced inspection rights and broader access to information related to their nuclear programmes.