IAEA Order of Malta - Permanent Observer Mission


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, the IAEA reports to both the UN General Assembly and Security Council.

The IAEA has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, and has two „Regional Safeguards Offices“ which are located in Toronto, Canada, and in Tokyo, Japan. The IAEA also has two liaison offices which are located in New York City, United States, 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 cooperation 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’s mission is guided by the interests and needs of Member States, strategic plans and the vision embodied in the IAEA Statute. 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 much of its work with the Security Council, and not with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The structure and functions of the IAEA are defined by its founding document, the IAEA Statute. The IAEA has three main bodies: the Board of Governors, the General Conference, and the Secretariat.

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.

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.

The IAEA has established programs to help developing countries in planning to build systematically the capability to manage a nuclear power program, including the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Group, which has carried out Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review missions in Indonesia, Jordan, Thailand and Vietnam. The IAEA reports that roughly 60 countries are considering how to include nuclear power in their energy plans.

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.

For further information, please visit the website of the IAEA:   www.iaea.org