Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) stated: "In politics what is often most difficult to understand and appraise is what is taking place under our eyes."

De Tocqueville's insight suggests that it would be wise for the international community to stand back and to reflect on the lessons that should be learned from the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) experience in implementing safeguards over the last decade, particularly in North Korea and Iran. Such review and reflection will suggest that, ironically, just when safeguards are getting better, the political will to use them effectively seems to be waning.


This paper will explore how safeguards have gotten better, what lessons can be gleaned from the IAEA's experience over the last decade, and how the international community can address the problems that have arisen in the past few years.


Click here to access the full text of the speech (PDF).