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Ensuring Safeguards Sustainability

Ensuring Safeguards Sustainability

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Introduction

The safeguards system implemented by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the principal international verification mechanism of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It operates pursuant to the authority given in the IAEA Statute2and in the NPT. It should be noted that the IAEA safeguards system also serves as the verification instrument in so-called item-specific safeguards agreements concluded in connection with specific projects in non-NPT states. However, the number of such agreements—as well as the amount of IAEA activity required—is significantly lower that of those related to the NPT.

In order to perform its mission effectively and efficiently, the IAEA must sustain its authority,competence, and credibility in the face of external challenges (budgetary and political pressures) and internal challenges (suboptimal management of the safeguards mission).

This paper discusses ways sustainability of the IAEA safeguards system can be ensured by the agency, its Member States, and the international community.

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