Voluntary Offer Safeguards Agreements

In addition to strengthening safeguards through the adoption of the Additional Protocol model in the late 1990s and 2000s, the IAEA has also developed methods to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of implementing safeguards for states where CSAs and APS are in force. The IAEA has launched a “state-level approach” to assess state compliance with protection agreements in a comprehensive manner and not on the basis of a facility of establishment. It has also begun to adopt “broader conclusions” for states in order to facilitate the burden of implementation by applying the approach at the national level. The IAEA provides several useful services to Member States, including assistance with official documentation and assistance with safeguards. [9] Although the additional protocol is widely accepted as a standard protection practice, several States have opposed the extension of safeguards to this protocol. The IAEA safeguards do not prohibit additional bilateral or multilateral safeguards. For example, in 1991, Brazil and Argentina concluded an agreement on bilateral security inspections (ABACC) and Euratom safeguards that preceded the NPT requirement and contribute to the protection agreements negotiated by their Member States with the Agency. Most protection agreements are comprehensive safeguard agreements concluded by the IAEA with non-nuclear-weapon States, parties to the NPT and nuclear-weapon-free zones agreements. To date, the IAEA has concluded comprehensive safeguard agreements with 175 states. About 100 of these states have also concluded protocols on small amounts of their comprehensive protection agreements. The IAEA produces a report for each country on the implementation of safeguards (SIR) and draws safety conclusions based on information gathered during inspections, as well as through remote monitoring and information gathering. The conclusions on safeguard measures give the international community assurance that states are complying with their agreements in accordance with protection obligations. In some cases, the conclusion is that the security measures were inconclusive.

The findings of the safeguard measures are recorded in the annual report on the implementation of safeguard measures, which will be presented to the Governing Council at its June meeting. All non-nuclear-weapon States belonging to the NPT, as well as States parties to regional treaties establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone, are required to enter into comprehensive protection agreements with the IAEA.