Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office: Annual Report 2012-13

Output 1.8: Advice to Government

Provision of high quality, timely, relevant and professional advice to Government.

Performance Measures

  • Provide policy advice, analysis and briefings which meet the needs of Ministers and other key stakeholders
  • Contribute to the development of Australia's policies by DFAT in the area of WMD arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation
  • Cooperate on technical issues of common interest with departments and agencies such as ANSTO, ARPANSA, Department of Defence, Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, and the Australian Intelligence Community

Performance Assessment

ASNO has specialist knowledge in complex policy and technical areas dealing with nuclear non-proliferation, and has substantial experience in: verification methods; domestic, bilateral and international safeguards; nuclear technology and the nuclear fuel cycle; nuclear security; and CWC and CTBT verification issues. ASNO draws on this expertise and an international network of contacts in agencies and organisations to provide high quality technical and policy advice to Government and other bodies. ASNO provides the Government with advice on nuclear non-proliferation safeguards, from both international and domestic perspectives, together with expert advice across the range of WMD technologies.

ASNO provided key support to Australia's negotiations with India towards a nuclear cooperation agreement by providing technical advice and analysis.

During the year, ASNO provided advice and analysis on a range of non-proliferation issues and developments. ASNO has analysed and reported on nuclear programs of concern, in particular that of Iran, but also developments in Syria and the DPRK.

ASNO provided special briefing and additional assistance to the Australian Missions to the IAEA and CTBT Organization (in Vienna), to the OPCW (in The Hague) and to the Conference on Disarmament (in Geneva), as well as to Australian missions elsewhere, particularly in Washington, London, Moscow, and Beijing.

ASNO provided advice to the government on the negotiation and implementation of bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements. During the year, this included advice related to an agreement signed with the United Arab Emirates, as well as negotiation of an agreement with India.

ASNO has worked closely with other departments on a range of issues, which may impact upon non-proliferation considerations, including foreign investment proposals, international sanctions, defence export controls and safeguards assessments for the export of ores and concentrates.

ASNO participates in the Transport Working Group of the Uranium Industry Framework, a government-industry forum coordinated by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, designed to assist in the development of a sustainable, safe, secure, socially and environmentally responsible uranium industry. The goal of the Transport Working Group is to address impediments to transport of uranium, both domestically and internationally.