Safeguards are the activities by which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verifies that nuclear material and facilities are not used to develop nuclear weapons, and that states comply with their non-proliferation obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
Over the past 10 years, VERTIC’s Verification and Monitoring Programme has worked on assisting states in improving their national implementation of IAEA Safeguards and ratifying new safeguards agreements.
VERTIC engages with countries directly, often working with diplomats and regulatory officials involved in Safeguards policy. Our assistance activities are tailored to the specific needs of the country with which we are engaging. They typically include one or more of the following:
- Surveys on existing national legislation and institutional arrangements (effectively a “gap analysis”);
- Review of draft legislation and plans;
- In-country workshops on technical and legal requirements of Safeguards implementation;
- Mapping of national stakeholders for Safeguards implementation and outreach support;
- Providing case studies of national legislation and its evolution and application;
- Briefing policy-makers and decision makers on safeguards issues.
VERTIC has engaged with over 10 countries since our Safeguards work started. Between 2013-2016, we ran a special programme supporting countries working towards Additional Protocol ratification: of the 5 countries we assisted in that period, 3 achieved ratification of the Additional Protocol.
Our partner countries have recognised our work in international fora, including country statements to the IAEA General Conference, and a paper submitted to the 2018 Symposium on International Safeguards.