Disposal in engineered facilities built in stable, deep geological formations is the reference solution for permanently isolating long-lived radioactive waste from the human biosphere. This management method is designed to be intrinsically safe and final, meaning that it is not dependent on human presence or intervention in order to fulfil its safety goal. Selecting the site of a waste repository brings up a range of issues involving scientific knowledge, technical capacity, ethical values, territorial planning, community well-being and more. Bringing to fruition the multi-decade task of siting and developing a repository demands a strong national commitment and significant regional and local involvement. This collective statement by the Radioactive Waste Management Committee of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency recognises the advances made towards greater transparency and dialogue among the diverse stakeholders concerned and identifies the fundamental elements needed to support national commitment and to foster territorial involvement. It concludes that technical and societal partners can develop shared confidence in the safety of geological repositories and jointly carry these projects forward.