The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
 FORMER MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA

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Media Release

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer
9 August 2001/FA120

Nuclear Safeguards Agreement between Australia and Hungary

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Downer, announced today that Australia and the Republic of Hungary have signed a bilateral Agreement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and the transfer of nuclear material.

The Agreement was signed in Budapest on 8 August 2001 by Australia's Ambassador to Hungary, Mr Leo Cruise, and the Director General of the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority, Dr Jozsef Ronaky.  The Agreement will contribute to developing Australia's relations with Hungary, and demonstrates the shared commitments of the two countries to the international non-proliferation regime.  The Agreement stipulates strict safeguards, verification and physical protection measures over Australian uranium that might be supplied to Hungary for nuclear power generation.

All of Australia's uranium is exported for exclusively peaceful purposes, and only to countries and parties with which Australia has a bilateral safeguards Agreement.  This ensures that Australia's nuclear exports remain in exclusively peaceful use, and may only be retransferred to a party with a bilateral safeguards Agreement with Australia.

Like Australia, the Republic of Hungary is a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  Hungary has brought into force an Additional Protocol to its safeguards agreement with the IAEA, providing for the application of strengthened safeguards measures.

Australia currently has 15 bilateral safeguards Agreements in place, covering 25 countries (one is with the European Atomic Energy Community, Euratom).  Australia's network of bilateral nuclear safeguards Agreements complements and builds upon the IAEA's safeguards regime.

The Agreement is a treaty-level document, and it will be tabled in the Parliament this year.  The treaty will enter into force once each country completes its own domestic and constitutional requirements.


Inquiries: Matt Francis (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500, Lyndall Sachs (Departmental) 02 6261 1555

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