International Atomic Energy Agency: Wikis


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Small Flag of the United Nations ZP.svg International Atomic Energy Agency
Flag of IAEA.svg
The IAEA flag
Org type Organization
Acronyms IAEA
Head JapanYukiya Amano
Status Active
Established 1957
Headquarters Austria Vienna, Austria

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. The IAEA was established as an autonomous organization on 29 July 1957. Though established independently of the United Nations through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute,[1] the IAEA reports to both the UN General Assembly and Security Council.

The IAEA has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. The IAEA has two "Regional Safeguards Offices" which are located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and in Tokyo, Japan. The IAEA also has two liaison offices which are located in New York City, New York, and in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition, the IAEA has three laboratories located in Vienna and Seibersdorf, Austria, and in Monaco.

The IAEA serves as an intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology and nuclear power worldwide. The programs of the IAEA encourage the development of the peaceful applications of nuclear technology, provide international safeguards against misuse of nuclear technology and nuclear materials, and promote nuclear safety (including radiation protection) and nuclear security standards and their implementation.

The IAEA and its Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded on October 7, 2005. The IAEA's current Director General is Yukiya Amano.



IAEA headquarters since 1979, Vienna, Austria

In 1953, the President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, proposed the creation of an international body to both regulate and promote the peaceful use of atomic power (nuclear power), in his Atoms for Peace address to the UN General Assembly.[2] In September 1954, the United States proposed to the General Assembly the creation of an international agency to take control of fissile material, which could be used either for nuclear power or for nuclear weapons. This agency would establish a kind of "nuclear bank."

The United States also called for an international scientific conference on all of the peaceful aspects of nuclear power. By November 1954, it had become clear that the Soviet Union would reject any international custody of fissile material, but that a clearing house for nuclear transactions might be possible. From August 8 to August 20, 1955, the United Nations held the International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva, Switzerland. During 1956, an IAEA Statute Conference was held to draft the founding documents for the IAEA, and the IAEA Statute was completed at a conference in 1957.

Beginning in 1986, in response to the nuclear reactor explosion and disaster near Chernobyl, Ukraine, the IAEA redoubled its efforts in the field of nuclear safety.

The IAEA was headed for most of two decades by the former Swedish Foreign Minister Hans Blix, who served as the Director General from 1981 to 1997. Mr. Blix was succeeded as Director General by Mohamed ElBaradei of Egypt, who served until November 2009.

The both the IAEA and its Director General, Mr. ElBaradei, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. In ElBaradei's acceptance speech in Stockholm, he stated that only one percent of the money spent on developing new weapons would be enough to feed the entire world, and that, if we hope to escape self-destruction, then nuclear weapons should have no place in our collective conscience, and no role in our security.[3]

On July 2, 2009, Mr. Yukiya Amano of Japan was elected as the Director General for the IAEA [4], defeating Abdul Samad Minty of South Africa and Luis E. Echávarri‎ of Spain. On 3 July 2009, the Board of Governors voted to appoint Yukiya Amano "by acclamation," and IAEA General Conference in September 2009 approved. He took office on 1 December 2009.[5] [6] [7]

Structure and function

IAEA headquarters


The IAEA's mission is guided by the interests and needs of Member States, strategic plans and the vision embodied in the IAEA Statute (see below). Three main pillars - or areas of work - underpin the IAEA's mission: Safety and Security; Science and Technology; and Safeguards and Verification.

The IAEA as an autonomous organization is not under direct control of the UN, but the IAEA does report to both the UN General Assembly and Security Council. Unlike most other specialized international agencies, the IAEA does not do much of its work with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, but rather directly with the Security Council. The structure and functions of the IAEA are defined by its founding document, the IAEA Statute (see below). The IAEA has three main bodies: the Board of Governors, the General Conference, and the Secretariat.

In 2004, the IAEA developed a Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT). PACT responds to the needs of developing countries to establish, to improve, or to expand radiotherapy treatment programs. The IAEA is raising money to help efforts by its Member States to save lives and to reduce suffering of cancer victims.[8]

The IAEA exists to pursue the "safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear sciences and technology" (Pillars 2005). The IAEA executes this mission with three main functions: the inspection of existing nuclear facilities to ensure their peaceful use, providing information and developing standards to ensure the safety and security of nuclear facilities, and as a hub for the various fields of science involved in the peaceful applications of nuclear technology.

To enhance the sharing of information and experience among IAEA Member States concerning the seismic safety of nuclear facilities, in 2008 the IAEA established the International Seismic Safety Center. This center is establishing safety standards and providing for their application in relation to site selection, site evaluation and seismic design.

Board of Governors

The Board of Governors is one of two policy making bodies of the IAEA. The Board consists of 13 members designated by the outgoing Board and 22 members elected by the General Conference. The outgoing Board designates the ten members who are the most advanced in atomic energy technology and the remaining three most advanced members from any of the following areas that are not represented by the first ten: North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, Middle East and South Asia, South East Asia, the Pacific, and the Far East. These members are designated for one year terms. The General Conference elects 22 members from the remaining nations to two year terms. Eleven are elected each year. The 22 elected members must also represent a stipulated geographic diversity (Statute). The current Board members are: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, China, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Romania, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela (IAEA Board of Governors 2009–2010).

The Board, in its five yearly meetings, is responsible for making most of the policy of the IAEA. The Board makes recommendations to the General Conference on IAEA activities and budget, is responsible for publishing IAEA standards and appoints the Director General subject to General Conference approval (IAEA Fundamentals 2005). Board members each receive one vote. Budget matters require a two-thirds majority. All other matters require only a simple majority. The simple majority also has the power to stipulate issues that will thereafter require a two-thirds majority. Two-thirds of all Board members must be present to call a vote (IAEA Board of Governors 1989).

General Conference

The General Conference is made up of all 151 member states. It meets once a year, typically in September, to approve the actions and budgets passed on from the Board of Governors. The GC also approves the nominee for Director General and requests reports from the Board on issues in question (Statute). Each member receives one vote. Issues of budget, Statute amendment and suspension of a member’s privileges require a two- thirds majority and all other issues require a simple majority. Similar to the Board, the GC can, by simple majority, designate issues to require a two- thirds majority. The GC elects a President at each annual in order to facilitate an effective meeting. The President only serves for the duration of the session (Statute).

The main function of the GC is to serve as a forum for debate on current issues and policies. Any of the other IAEA organs, the Director General, the Board and member states can table issues to be discussed by the GC (IAEA Primer). This function of the GC is almost identical to the General Assembly of the United Nations.


The Secretariat is the professional and general service staff of the IAEA. The Secretariat is headed by the Director General. The Director General is responsible for enforcement of the actions passed by the Board of Governors and the GC. The Director General is selected by the Board and approved by the GC for renewable four year terms. The Director General oversees six departments that do the actual work in carrying out the policies of the IAEA: Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Safety and Security, Nuclear Sciences and Applications, Safeguards, Technical Cooperation, and Management.

The IAEA budget is two-part. The regular budget funds most activities of the IAEA and is assessed to each member nation (€296 million in 2009). The Technical Cooperation Fund is funded by voluntary contributions with a general target in the $85 million range.


IAEA members

The process of joining the IAEA is fairly simple.[9] A State must notify the Director General of its desire to join. The Director then submits the application to the Board for consideration. If the application is approved by the Board, the GC must then consider the application. When the State receives final approval for membership, it must then submit its signed acceptance of the IAEA’s Statute. The State is considered a member when its acceptance letter is deposited; and the other IAEA members are notified of the new member.

The IAEA has 151 member states. Most UN members and the Holy See are Member States of the IAEA.

Membership has been approved by the IAEA General Conference and will take effect once the State deposits the necessary legal instruments with the IAEA:

Not participating are:

Have withdrawn from the IAEA:

List of Directors General

Name Nationality Duration
W. Sterling Cole United States United States 1957–1961
Sigvard Eklund Sweden Sweden 1961–1981
Hans Blix Sweden Sweden 1981–1997
Mohamed ElBaradei Egypt Egypt 1997–Nov 2009
Yukiya Amano Japan Japan Dec 2009–Present

See also



Works cited

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Wangari Muta Maathai
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
with Mohamed ElBaradei

Succeeded by
Grameen Bank
Muhammad Yunus

Coordinates: 48°14′2″N 16°24′58″E / 48.23389°N 16.41611°E / 48.23389; 16.41611

Simple English

File:Flag of
The IAEA flag

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is a spin-off organisation from the United Nations. It was created as an autonomous (self-governing) organization on July 29, 1957. The organisation wants to monitor and promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy. It also wants to prevent the use of this energy to build nuclear weapons.

The organization and its Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, were both awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on 7 October 2005. This was done for their role when they tried to prevent the invasion of Iraq by a US-led coalition of troops.

The IAEA has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Additional facilities are located in Seibersdorf (near Vienna), Monaco, Toronto, and Tokyo.


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