A report on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released in Vienna by The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance (CCTC) has made multiple recommendations, both strategic and programmatic, for strengthening and reform of the IAEA. The report was auhored by CIGI Senior Fellow Trevor Findlay.
‘Unleashing the Nuclear Watchdog: Strengthening and Reform of the IAEA’ marks the culmination of a two-year research project that examined all aspects of the Agency’s mandate and operations ― from major programmes on safeguards, safety, security and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy to governance, management and finance.
“In spite of the IAEA’s well-deserved reputation, it remains relatively undernourished, its powers significantly hedged and its technical achievements often overshadowed by political controversy,” said Professor Findlay. “The Agency is ripe for strengthening and reform, but this requires not just a willing and proactive Secretariat, but, crucially, enhanced political, technical and financial support from member states.”
Among the paper’s most important recommendations:
• Hold General Conference every two years; reform Board of Governors election process but avoid expansion
• Limit Director General to two four-year terms and appoint a true deputy director general
• Commission wide-ranging external management study; produce a Strategic Plan; devise a Resource Mobilization Strategy
• Pursue a Grand Budgetary Bargain: replace automatic zero-real growth with needs-based approach
• Pursue post-Fukushima Action Plan for nuclear safety, including IAEA emergency preparedness and response
• Boost IAEA role in nuclear security
• Fully implement Safeguards Strategic Plan ― especially state-level approach and detection of undeclared nuclear activities
• Standardise terminology and approaches for high-profile non-compliance cases
• Pursue reforms to Technical Cooperation programme and wean wealthier countries from it
• Embed modern management and IT in all Agency operations
• Ensure modernisation of Seibersdorf labs and other infrastructure
• Develop more effective public diplomacy and media strategies.
“The IAEA is an irreplaceable multilateral organisation, yet the crisis in Fukushima and the ongoing crisis with Iran illustrate the need for a close examination of the Agency’s operations and programmes. Professor Findlay’s report, well-researched and written, comes at an opportune time for those within and studying the IAEA,” said David Dewitt, Vice President of Programs at CIGI.
To accompany the report, CIGI has launched an interactive, online feature on the agency. It offers insights from the world’s leading nuclear and global governance experts as well as an historical timeline of nuclear energy and the IAEA. It can be accessed by visiting www.cigionline.org/interactive/iaea.
In addition to his role at CIGI, Professor Findlay holds a joint fellowship with the International Security Programme and the Project on Managing the Atom at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs. He also holds the William and Jeanie Barton Chair in International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and is director of the Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance.
To read Unleashing the Nuclear Watchdog: Strengthening and Reform of the IAEA, please visit: www.cigionline.org/iaea