STATEMENT BY THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE
INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY
TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL
13 OCTOBER 1998
The Agency's verification activities in Iraq, since last October, are described in my reports of January, April, July and the current report before the Council, document S/1998/927. I will therefore limit my statement to a number of general observations:
The Agency's progress reports to the Security Council, commenci with document S/1997/779, dated 8 October 1997, have highlighted the following:
- first, the Agency's verification activities in Iraq have resulted in a technically coherent picture of Iraq's clandestine nuclear programme;
- second, Iraq's known nuclear weapons related assets have been destroyed, removed or rendered harmless and the related infrastructure is under ongoing monitoring and verification, and;
- third, there are no indications that there remain in Iraq any practical capability - facilities and hardware - for the production of weapon-usable nuclear material in quantities of any practical significance.
These statements are made on the basis of all available, credible information. In this context it is relevant to note that this same information provides no indication that Iraq has assembled nuclear weapons with or without fissile cores.
However, there is an inevitable degree of uncertainty in the technically coherent picture that has evolved of Iraq's clandestine nuclear programme. Uncertainty is inherent in any countrywide verification process and precludes the provision of absolute assurance of the absence of readily concealed or disguised material or equipment, such as documents, or specimens of weaponisation or centrifuge components or even some amounts of non-enriched uranium.
We have identified the facilities, materials and equipment that comprise the "big picture": that is to say, nuclear weapons, or more properly their absence, as well as weapon-usable nuclear material, along with their physical production capabilities, and we have arranged for, or supervised, their removal, destruction or rendering harmless. However, it is beyond the capability of a countrywide verification process to discover "all" items.
The Agency's verification activities have been thorough and wide ranging and the results should provide assurance that little, if anything has been overlooked. Nonetheless "no indication" is not the same as "non-existence". It is for this reason that although a verification process of this scale can provide credible assurance it cannot provide a clean bill of health.
There are a few outstanding questions and concerns but, from a technical point of view, they do not, either individually or collectively, provide any impediment to the full implementation of the Agency's OMV plan.
If Iraq resumes and maintains full co-operation, the Agency, as indicated to the Council in July, would be in a position to carry out all our activities under the OMV plan, which includes the right to continue to investigate the few remaining outstanding questions and
concerns and any other aspect of Iraq's clandestine nuclear programme.
I should take this opportunity to restate the few remaining questions and concerns which result from the lack of full and verifiable information having been provided by Iraq:
- the status of the nuclear weapon design in April 1991, including the provision of engineering drawings and models, as well as the provision of centrifuge, drawings obtained from foreign assistance;
- the extent of external assistance to the clandestine nuclear programme;
- the timing and modalities of Iraq's abandonment of its clandestine nuclear programme including the adoption of the necessary penal laws;
The Agency has no evidence that Iraq is actually withholding information in these areas. But the lack of this information contributes to the uncertainty in the completeness of the coherent picture.
Whatever determination is made by the Security Council regarding Iraq's compliance with its obligations under the relevant resolutions, it is important that the Agency retain the Council's explicit support to continue, as part of its OMV activities, to exercise the right to investigate any aspect of Iraq's clandestine nuclear programme on the basis of any information that comes to its attention and to neutralise any items discovered through such investigation.
As I have reported, the OMV, to be effective, must be comprehensive and therefore intrusive. The techniques and procedures we use in
OMV are essentially the same as those used to detect verify and, as appropriate, neutralise the components of Iraq's clandestine programme. For that reason, the Agency's activities in Iraq would be largely unaffected by a Security Council determination on Iraq's compliance with its obligations under Section C of resolution 687. Everything I have said is predicated on the assumption that Iraq rescinds its decision of 5 August to suspend co-operation with the Agency, and we are once more able to exercise our right to full and free access. Without such access the Agency cannot fully implement its OMV plan.
As recorded in the current report to the Council, the OMV plan is an integral whole and can only be meaningfully implemented in its entirety. An effective OMV system must incorporate a robust detection and deterrence capability if it is to be able to provide substantial assurance of the absence of prohibited activities and material in Iraq. Our current inability to inspect new sites seriously weakens this vital component of the Agency's OMV plan.
The longer this period of limited access continues, the less effective OMV becomes, and the degree of assurance is diminished. Finally, Mr. President, I would draw your attention to the need to establish a mechanism, in accordance with paragraph 4 of resolution 699, to secure adequate long-term funding for the implementation of the Agency's OMV plan. As I indicated in my July report to the Council, although our current direct annual expenditure is of the order of 3M$, I anticipate that, talking full account of "assistance in cash and in kind" from Member States, the real annual cost of implementing the OMV plan will be considerably more. Initial estimates indicate a figure of the order of 9M$.
The Security Council Presidential Statement of 4 November 1994 foresaw reporting by the Agency on its work in the DPRK. My most recent report to the Council is contained in document S/1998/940.
The Agency continues to assert its right and duty to perform inspections under its comprehensive safeguards agreement pursuant to the Non-proliferation Treaty, which remains in force.
In addition to the safeguards agreement, the Agreed Framework, signed by the US and the DPRK in October 1994, foresaw specific verification functions for the Agency, which include the monitoring of a "freeze on the DPRK's graphite-moderated reactors and related facilities". You may also recall that the Security Council requested the Agency to take all steps necessary to monitor the a freeze.
The Agency has been able to verify the freeze in those facilities that are subject to the freeze measures, and maintains a continuous presence of inspectors. in the DPRK for that purpose. On the other hand, the Agency continues to be unable to verify the correctness and completeness of the DPRK's declaration of nuclear material and hence unable to conclude that there has been no diversion of nuclear material. This is because the DPRK continues to accept Agency activities as being solely within the context of the Agreed Framework and not under its safeguards agreement with the Agency.
In the light of this situation, the Forty Second IAEA General Conference, on 25 September adopted a resolution in which it inter alia expressed deep concern over the continuing non-compliance of the DPRK with its safeguards agreement, urged the DPRK to cooperate fully with the Agency in the implementation of that agreement and to take all steps the Agency may deem necessary to preserve all
information relevant to verifying the accuracy and completeness of the DPRK's declaration.
The eleventh round of technical discussions between the Agency and the DPRK took place last week in Vienna. During these talks the DPRK informed us about progress in the Implementation of the Agreed Framework, including the resumption of the canning operation at the 5 MWe reactor where 97% of the fuel rods have already been canned and are under Agency seals. During the talks, the DPRK provided a list of documents which, in its view, should be preserved for the Agency to be able to verify the nuclear material declaration of DPRK at a future date. The list is not complete. Since 1995 our efforts to secure access to the necessary information and agree on the required measures for their preservation have been futile. Unless this information is available to the Agency, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for the Agency to verify in the future the correctness and completeness of the DPRK's declaration of nuclear material.
The DPRK has repeatedly linked progress in discussions with the Agency to progress in the implementation of the Agreed Framework and the construction of the two light water reactors. I should like to recall in this connection that under the Agreed Framework, the Agency must have verified compliance of the DPRK with its safeguards agreement before any key components to the light water reactors under construction are delivered.
Mr. President, I would like to make a final remark regarding media reports of a particular underground site in the DPRK. During the latest technical meeting, the DPRK referred to their recent talks with the US during which they described the site in question as a "civil -underground structure". We are following the information available on this issue. At this stage, we do not believe that there is specific
action that the Agency needs to take under the safeguards agreement on this matter.
Illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive material remains a matter of concern, both from a security and from a safety perspective. Of the nearly 300 incidents in the Agency's database, some 130 involve nuclear material, albeit only 10% of those involve highly enriched uranium or plutonium, the materials for making nuclear weapons. Fortunately, in the last two years, the incidents, at least the reported incidents, have decreased. The Agency's programme in this field consists of co-ordinating information exchange among Member States and providing technical guidance to international organisations dealing with trafficking. The programme also involves the coordination of assistance to States and the provision of physical protection advisory services, on request.
The Agency has also contributed to the work of the UN ad hoc committee on international terrorism, which completed its work last week on a convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism. The draft convention foresees a role for the Agency in its implementation.
One of the lessons learned from its experience in Iraq has been that the Agency"s safeguards system should be strengthened in such a way as to verify not only declared nuclear activities but also to detect possible undeclared activities through increased access to information and increased physical access for our inspectors.
in May 1997, efforts to enhance the safeguards system resulted in the adoption of a Model Additional Protocol to safeguards agreements. The Agency's Board of Governors requested that an Additional Protocol be concluded with all States with safeguards agreements in force in order to strengthen the effectiveness and the efficiency of the safeguards system.
To date, Additional Protocols for 32 States and for EURATOM have been approved by the Board of Governors. They include 29 non-nuclear weapon states and three nuclear-weapon-states that have agreed to assume certain obligations relevant to their civil nuclear programmes. Consultations are in an advanced stage with an additional number of States.
A strengthened safeguards system is a fundamental requirement for an effective non-proliferation regime. Adherence should be global. The Agency hopes and expects that by the year 2000 all States, particularly those with nuclear fuel cycle activities, will have signed and brought into force their Additional Protocols. When this happens, a comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with an Additional Protocol will become the standard verification norm for the twenty-first century.
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