Sixth Asia Pacific Safeguards Network Annual Meeting
1. The 6th Asia Pacific Safeguards Network (APSN) Annual Meeting was held from November 10 to 13 at the Mita Conference Hall (November 10) and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (November 11 and 12). Mr. Kazutoshi Aikawa, Director-General (Ambassador) of the Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Science Department, chaired the meeting on behalf of Japan, the host country. Additionally, specialists responsible for safeguards implementation from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries (Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar and Laos), Bangladesh, Mongolia, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Canada and the United States took part in the meeting. A safeguards-related official from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also participated.
2. The APSN Annual Meeting was established in 2009 as a forum for bringing together working-level personnel and officials involved with the IAEA’s safeguards from Asia-Pacific countries to share each country’s knowledge and exchange information and views in a candid manner. Japan took over from Australia as the chair country in September last year. (Japan’s term runs for two years, until September 2017).
3. At this meeting, each country introduced the state of its specific efforts to implement domestic safeguards based on its safeguards agreement with the IAEA. In addition, a table top exercise directed by the IAEA was held, and a lively exchange of views took place on the challenges each country faces in implementing more effective safeguards.
4. Furthermore, a discussion took place on maintaining and strengthening the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, including strengthening the IAEA’s safeguards and universalizing the Additional Protocol. The participants reconfirmed the importance of the APSN’s activities and the necessity for ongoing efforts with non-proliferation activities through safeguards.