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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

17 June 2005

U.S. Welcomes New International Atomic Energy Agency Committee

Strengthening enforcement of nuclear obligations is a Bush priority

Following is a brief statement from the U.S. State Department June 17 on the International Atomic Energy Agency's creation of a Committee on Safeguards and Verification:

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Office of the Spokesman
June 17, 2005


United States Welcomes Establishment of IAEA Committee on Safeguards and Verification

The United States welcomes the decision by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency to establish a Committee on Safeguards and Verification.

President Bush called for the establishment of this Committee in his February 2004 speech to the National Defense University.  The International Atomic Energy Agency plays a critical role in strengthening international nonproliferation efforts.  This decision begins a process that will strengthen the Agency's ability to monitor and enforce compliance with nuclear nonproliferation obligations.  It is a significant achievement and one of the President's priorities for controlling the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

In recent years, we have uncovered black-market operatives who deal in equipment and expertise related to weapons of mass destruction.  We have been working with other Board members for many months to develop the basis for establishing the new Committee and to develop a common understanding of how it will function and what it will seek to accomplish.  The International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards system must be strengthened, and this will be a key task of the Committee.

We look forward to working with other members of the Board and the Committee to ensure that the International Atomic Energy Agency has all the tools it needs to fulfill its mandate, and to strengthen its contribution to the international nuclear nonproliferation regime.

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(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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