IAEA celebrates 60th anniversary

01 August 2017

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) celebrated its 60th anniversary on 29 July, the date in 1957 when it formally came into existence after 26 countries ratified its Statute. The Vienna-based agency now has 168 Member States.

The IAEA Statute, which was approved on 23 October 1956 at the headquarters of the United Nations, has been amended three times - in 1963, 1973 and 1989.

The IAEA Statute states that: "The Agency shall seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world. It shall ensure, so far as it is able, that assistance provided by it or at its request or under its supervision or control is not used in such a way as to further any military purpose."

Marking the anniversary, the IAEA's fifth and current director-general, Yukiya Amano, said: "The IAEA will remain an international organisation of excellence that delivers concrete results and makes a real difference to the lives of people all over the world."

With the motto Atoms for Peace and Development, Amano noted that the IAEA's broad mandate ranges from preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, to helping countries achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals through the safe and secure use of nuclear technology. It helps to improve the health and prosperity of millions of people by making nuclear science and technology available in health care, food and agriculture, industry and many other areas, he said.

Its work in verifying Iran's nuclear program was indispensable, he said, in paving the way for the diplomatic breakthrough achieved in 2015 in the form of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The IAEA is verifying and monitoring Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA.

The agency helps countries that wish to use nuclear power to do so safely, securely and sustainably, and its role as the centre for international cooperation in nuclear safety and security has grown steadily, Amano said.

The IAEA has faced many challenges in the past 60 years, he said, but it has "proven to be flexible" and able to learn from experience, he added.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News