Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

5 July 2001

Nuclear Safeguards - Memorandum of Understanding Between Australian and Indonesian Authorities

The Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (ASNO) and its Indonesian counterpart, the Nuclear Energy Control Board (BAPETEN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for an "Arrangement Concerning Cooperation on Nuclear Safeguards and Related Matters".

The MOU was signed by ASNO's Director General, John Carlson and the Chairman of BAPETEN, Dr Mohammad Ridwan in Tokyo on 29 June 2001.  It formalises a long standing and close relationship between Australian and Indonesian safeguards officials covering areas such as joint R&D projects on International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, staff exchanges and training.

Safeguards ensure that nuclear activities are for exclusively peaceful purposes, promoting international confidence building and transparency.  The MOU provides an umbrella for further cooperation in this area, including exchanges of scientific and technical staff and joint participation in safeguards research.  The MOU does not cover provision of nuclear material or nuclear technology.

Indonesia is so far one of the few states in our region to have brought into effect an Additional Protocol with the IAEA for the application of strengthened safeguards.  Its leadership on safeguards matters in the region is very welcome. 

ASNO is Australia's national authority for nuclear safeguards.  ASNO is also responsible for implementation of the CWC (Chemical Weapons Convention) and the CTBT (Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty).  BAPETEN is an independent regulator, reporting directly to the President of Indonesia, responsible for nuclear safeguards, nuclear safety and radiation protection.

The commitment from both ASNO and BAPETEN to work together signals an important step in strengthening the nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation norms of the IAEA in our region.

Inquiries:         DFAT Media Liaison Section 02 6261 1555

D11