Introductory Remarks by Ambassador Fitzpatrick at the DOE/NNSA International Nuclear Safeguards Engagement Program (INSEP)

Good morning. My name is Kathleen M. Fitzpatrick, U.S. Ambassador to Timor-Leste. I am honored to open this U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration Outreach Workshop on International Nuclear Safeguards Agreements for Timor-Leste.

I would like to give a very warm welcome to our visiting experts from the U.S. Department of Energy. My respects to Mr. Isilio Coelho, Director General for Bilateral Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. Respects also to Mr. Shota Kamishima of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to Dr. Craig Everton of the Australian Safeguards and Nonproliferation Office, and to Ms. Margot Mininni of the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

The United States of America and Timor-Leste enjoy strong bilateral relations. We have accomplished a lot by working together and we will build this relationship as Timor-Leste establishes its place in the Indo-Pacific and the world. As Part of this commitment, we’re hosting this special workshop today to raise awareness in Timor-Leste about states responsibilities under the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and other international agreements. This workshop is another example of how Timor-Leste and the United States of America can work together on important global issues. We thank you for coming to this workshop to address key aspects of nuclear nonproliferation. We hold workshops like this all around the globe. These workshops bring experts and government decision makers, like yourselves, together to strengthen compliance to the NPT. The United States wants to strengthen the NPT and the global nonproliferation regime. We hope to promote the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy, science, and technology. As a State Party to the NPT, Timor-Leste benefits from the NPT. And it has responsibilities to the nonproliferation community.  All States Party to the NPT are also required to conclude a comprehensive safeguards agreement (CSA) with the IAEA.

We commend Timor-Leste for signing a CSA with the IAEA and the additional protocol (AP) in 2009. These are very important steps. We hope this workshop will encourage Timor-Leste to take final step in the ratification process and that Timor-Leste will bring these agreements into force. The IAEA has concluded CSAs with over 174 States – with the vast majority of countries of the world.  Bringing into force the AP would further align Timor-Leste with the de facto international standard for safeguards under the NPT. It would also send a clear message to the international community that Timor-Leste is committed to the highest standard of transparency and safeguards verification. It is our sincere hope that Timor-Leste will soon join this community of nations that have concluded a CSA and AP with the IAEA. We are here to help.

We hope one outcome of this workshop will include Timor-Leste entering into force its IAEA safeguards agreements. The United States endeavors to support all nations committed to upholding their nonproliferation commitments.  This workshop is one example of our commitment. We look forward to working with Timor-Leste to further strengthen our bilateral relations. We want to work together to advance the important work of the IAEA.

Thank you.