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Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office

Annual Report 1999-2000

Strengthening Our Relationship with the International Verification Agencies

During the reporting period, ASNO co-hosted with DFAT visits by the head of each of the three most significant international bodies tasked, together, with preventing the spread of nuclear and chemical weapons worldwide.

Mr Bustani and Dr Shaw at ASNO

Mr Bustani and Dr Shaw at ASNO

Dr ElBaradei, Director General of the IAEA - photgraph courtesy of IAEA

Dr ElBaradei, Director General of the IAEA - photgraph courtesy of IAEA

The Director-General of the OPCW, Mr Jos Bustani, visited Australia in November 1999.  He was followed by the Director General of the IAEA, Dr Mohammed ElBaradei, who came here in February 2000.  Finally, the Executive Secretary of the CTBT Preparatory Commission, Dr Wolfgang Hoffmann, visited in March 2000.

These visits involved discussions in Canberra with some accompanying site-visits to relevant facilities across the country.  The meetings enabled ASNO to showcase both its technical excellence in each domain and the synergies obtained from co-locating national authorities across the range of WMD verification regimes.

Mr Bustani met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Downer, a call he said was particularly valuable.  He complimented ASNO on its initiatives regarding a CWC public awareness campaign, and involvement in regional and international work promoting effective implementation of the Convention.  While in Australia, Mr Bustani also presented a public lecture on the CWC at the University of Sydney.  Dr ElBaradei expressed his deep satisfaction with the contribution made by ASNO to the IAEA and to strengthening nuclear safeguards internationally.  Dr ElBaradei was particularly impressed at ASNO's efforts considering the small number of staff.  During Dr Hoffmanns visit he and Mr Downer signed a facility arrangement covering establishment and operation of the international monitoring system (IMS) sites in Australia, when he praised as excellent the cooperation between Australia and his secretariat in Vienna.

Dr Hoffmann took advantage of his time in Australia to call on the Western Australian Minister for the Environment, an important visit since Western Australia will host a number of IMS stations covering the full gamut of technologies (see page 107).  Also he gave a public address to the Sydney Institute.

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