the idea of a renewed nuclear weapons race. It was clear that the credibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguards system was in need of revision.
To address these needs, the IAEA took on the task of improving and strengthening the safeguards system. Today we can congratulate the Agency for the goal they achieved by introducing the Model Protocol Additional to the Safeguards Agreement. These strengthening measures underline the determination of the international community to further enhance nuclear non-proliferation and underscore the IAEA's importance as a vital component in global nuclear nonproliferation -
We note therefore with satisfaction the number of countries, including some Nuclear Weapon States, that have already signed the Additional Protocol. South Africa has recently approached the IAEA with the request to enter into discussions with the Agency to negotiate the Additional Protocol with the Agency. As a matter of fact, as we are speaking here today, a South African delegation is in Vienna to negotiate the terms of the Protocol with the IAEA.
In this connection, South Africa would wish to use this opportunity to urge all Member States who have not done so, to enter into negotiations with the IAEA on the Additional Protocol. A united and cooperative effort in this regard will be proof of our maturity in addressing nuclear proliferation now and in the future.South Africa firmly believes that the strengthened safeguard system is a vital mechanism in the ultimate goal of non-proliferation as the three elements it contains, namely increased access to information about a State's nuclear activities, broader access to sites and locations within a State and lastly the maximum use of new and available technologies to increase detection capacity and ultimately reduce the frequency of on-site inspection.
An issue which South Africa touched upon at the Second Session of the PrepCom last year, referred to the financial and/or logistical burden that could be imposed on countries under the safeguards system and we would wish to reiterate our position in this connection. We expressed the hope that the strengthened safeguards system should not only be more effective, but also more cost-effective. To this end, we once again expressed the hope that the promised cost neutrality can be achieved sooner rather than later. This will obviously require a new look at the way in which traditional and new safeguards measures can be integrated into a meaningful new system without a substantial increase in cost. My delegation nevertheless firmly believes that a sound balance can in fact be achieved between the Agency's promotional and safeguards activities and we are confident that this can be maintained in the future, provided that the full commitment of the membership to both activities can be maintained.
Mr Chairperson, I thank you.