Nuclear monitoring pact between UN watchdog and US enters into force

8 January 2009An Additional Protocol to the nuclear safeguards agreement between the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United States that boosts access to nuclear information and sites has now entered into force, making the US the last of the five nuclear-weapon States party to a key global non-proliferation pact to fulfil this obligation. An Additional Protocol to the nuclear safeguards agreement between the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United States that boosts access to nuclear information and sites has now entered into force, making the US the last of the five nuclear-weapon States party to a key global non-proliferation pact to fulfil this obligation.The Additional Protocol entered into force yesterday when US Ambassador Gregory Schulte formally handed over the notification of the completion of the country’s ratification procedures to IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei.With the entry into force of the US’ Additional Protocol, all five nuclear-weapon States party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) have fulfilled their undertaking, assumed at the time of approval by the IAEA Board of Governors of the Model Additional Protocol in 1997, to conclude such agreements, the Agency said in a news release. The Vienna-based IAEA said the entry into force of the US’s Additional Protocol contributes to efforts aimed at achieving universal application of this key document which grants the Agency complementary inspection authority to that provided in underlying safeguards agreements. A principal aim is to enable the IAEA inspectorate to provide assurance about both declared and possible undeclared activities. Under the Protocol, the IAEA is granted expanded rights of access to information and sites.To date, 118 countries have signed an Addition Protocol with the IAEA and 89 countries have ratified it.

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