Comprehensive safeguards agreements and additional protocols
In 2003, the IAEA continued its efforts to implement a strengthened safeguards system. The number of states that have yet to bring into force their comprehensive safeguards agreements, in accordance with their obligations under the NPT, decreased from 48 at the end of 2002 to 45 at the end of 2003, with the addition of one new NPT State party, Timor Leste. The number of states having brought into force additional protocols to their safeguards agreements increased from 28 to 38 over the same period.
Despite the slight improvement in the increase of both the number of safeguards agreements pursuant to the NPT and additional protocols in force, the Director General, in his address to the 58th session of the General Assembly, expressed regret with the overall figures. To address this challenge, the Agency continued to implement an enhanced plan of action, updated in 2003, designed to expand adherence to the strengthened safeguards system. In line with that plan, in 2003 the Agency held regional seminars in Poiana Braov, Romania; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In addition, the Agency contributed to national seminars on the additional protocol in Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Malaysia and Thailand. High-level representatives of a number of countries that had not yet concluded NPT safeguards agreements with the Agency attended an interregional seminar on the safeguards system held in Vienna in November 2003.
Challenges to the safeguards regime
Several events during the year indicated that the nuclear non-proliferation regime was under stress on multiple fronts and that urgent steps were required to strengthen it. The IAEA once again had to respond both to ongoing and new challenges to the safeguards system. For example, the situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) continued to be a serious cause for concern. Meeting the verification challenges in the Islamic Republic of Iran and, at the end of the year, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Libya) was also part of the IAEA's focus and efforts. As a result of the changing situation in Iraq, the IAEA was not able to implement important parts of its broader verification mandates relating to that State.
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
The IAEA was not able to carry out any verification activities in the DPRK in 2003, leaving the Agency unable to provide any assurance about the non-diversion of nuclear material in that State. As in 2002, the Agency remained unable to verify the correctness and completeness of the initial declaration by the DPRK of nuclear material subject to safeguards in accordance with its NPT safeguards agreement with the IAEA.
The IAEA Board of Governors passed two resolutions with regard to the DPRK, in January and February 2003.1
At its February 2003 meeting, the Board decided to report to all Member States of the IAEA, and to the Security Council and General Assembly of the United Nations, the DPRK's further non-compliance and the IAEA's inability to verify non-diversion of nuclear material subject to safeguards.
IAEA inspections in Iraq resumed in November 2002, pursuant to Security Council resolution 687 (1991) and subsequent resolutions. When IAEA inspectors withdrew on 17 March 2003, upon notice from the Government of the United States that coalition forces were about to commence hostilities, 237 inspections had been carried out at 148 locations, including 27 new locations. As of that date, no evidence had been found of the revival of nuclear activities prohibited under resolutions 687 (1991) and 707 (1991). After 17 March 2003, the IAEA was not in a position to implement its existing mandate in Iraq under relevant Security Council resolutions.
On 22 May 2003, the Security Council adopted resolution 1483 in which it expressed its intention to revisit the mandates of the IAEA and the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) under the relevant Security Council resolutions. The IAEA continued to await that review and further guidance by the Council and maintained its capacity in Vienna in the event a decision was made to resume international inspections.
The Agency also has a verification mandate pursuant to Iraq's NPT safeguards agreement.
In June 2003, following reports of looting at the Tuwaitha nuclear storage facility south of Baghdad, IAEA inspectors returned to Iraq to recover and re-verify, under the NPT safeguards agreement, the nuclear material subject to safeguards stored at the Location C Nuclear Material Storage Facility. The inspectors found that some dispersal of natural uranium compounds had occurred due to looting, and recovered and re-verified the presence of nuclear material subject to safeguards at the site. The IAEA concluded that up to 10 kg of natural uranium compounds were missing that should be recovered by the Coalition Provisional Authority and placed under IAEA safeguards, and that the material was not sensitive from the standpoint of proliferation.
For the remainder of the year, the IAEA did not conduct any verification activities within Iraq. It did not receive any information from the Iraq Survey Group, which was established by the Coalition to conduct inspections across Iraq in search of evidence of illicit WMD programmes. Nor was the IAEA requested by the Group to provide any information on Iraq's previous nuclear programme.
Islamic Republic of Iran
The IAEA held extensive discussions with Iran in 2003 on safeguards issues to be clarified, and carried out a range of verification activities in the context of Iran's NPT safeguards agreement. Reports by the Director General were made to the Board of Governors in June, August and November 2003.2
The Board responded with a Chairman's statement3
and the adoption of two resolutions, respectively.4
The report in June noted that Iran had failed to meet its obligations under its safeguards agreement with respect to the reporting of nuclear material, the subsequent processing and use of that material, and the declaration of facilities where the material was stored and processed. The report also noted corrective actions that had been taken. The report to the Board's meeting in September noted an increased degree of cooperation with the IAEA by Iran, although it also stated that information and access were at times slow in coming and incremental, observing that a number of important outstanding issues remained, particularly with regard to Iran's enrichment programme and reprocessing activities. At that meeting, the Board adopted a resolution which, inter alia
, called on Iran to suspend all uranium-enrichment activities, and to sign, ratify and implement an additional protocol. The November report reiterated that Iran had, in a number of instances and over an extended period of time, breached its obligation to comply with its safeguards agreement. However, it was noted that, given the past pattern of concealment, it would take some time before the IAEA would be able to conclude that Iran's nuclear programme was exclusively for peaceful purposes. Iran signed an additional protocol on 18 December 2003.
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
On 19 December 2003, Libya informed the United Nations Security Council and the IAEA of its decision inter alia
to eliminate all materials, equipment and programmes leading to the production of internationally proscribed weapons, including nuclear weapons. This announcement followed intensive discussions between Libya, the United Kingdom and the United States, reportedly over a period of about a year. In this context, Libya informed the IAEA that it had been engaged for more than a decade in the development of a uranium enrichment capability. These activities should have been, but were not, reported by Libya to the IAEA under its NPT safeguards agreement. Libya also stated that its previously undisclosed uranium enrichment programme was at an early stage of development and that no industrial scale facility had been built, nor had any enriched uranium been produced. Furthermore, Libya informed the Agency that it had obtained nuclear weapon design documents, but it had not explored the utility of the documents. The IAEA then commenced intensive verification activities, working with Libyan authorities, to ascertain the full extent of Libya's clandestine nuclear-weapons programme.
In December 2003, an IAEA team of technical and legal experts visited locations related to undeclared nuclear activities and initiated a process of verifying the previously undeclared nuclear material, equipment, facilities and activities. Libya also confirmed its intention to sign an additional protocol and, pending entry into force, to act as of 29 December 2003, as if the protocol were in force.
Application of Agency Safeguards in the Middle East
Pursuant to the mandate given to him by the IAEA General Conference, the Director General continued to consult with the States of the Middle East region on the application of full scope safeguards to all nuclear activities in the Middle East, on the development of model agreements, and on a forum to consider how the experience of other regions might contribute to the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in that region. Due to the prevailing situation in the region, no progress was made. The Director General continued to exert efforts within his authority with the active cooperation of all concerned, in hopes of moving this mandate forward.
Nuclear disarmament verification
In the context of nuclear disarmament verification, the Director General reported to the 47th General Conference on progress made under the initiative by the Russian Federation and the United States to allow IAEA verification of nuclear material released from the military programmes of the two States. He stated that a legal framework had been prepared to allow credible and independent verification, and to ensure that sensitive information relating to the design of nuclear weapons would not be divulged. This framework was to be used as a basis for the negotiation of agreements between the IAEA and each of the two States. The Director General noted, however, that neither State had initiated such negotiations with the Agency.
GOV/2003/3, 6 January 2003 and GOV/2003/14, 12 February 2003, available from IAEA web site: www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Statements [accessed 18 August 2004].
GOV/2003/40, 6 June 2003; GOV/2003/63, 26 August 2003; and GOV/2003/75, 10 November 2003, available from www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Statements [accessed 18 August 2004].
Chairman's statement on 19 June 2003, see above web site.
GOV/2003/69, 12 September 2003; GOV/2003/81, 26 November 2003.