From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : IAEA and its mandate
Mains level : Nuclear ambitions and its rise
The UN nuclear watchdog IAEA’s governing body began meeting as a row brews over Iran’s refusal to allow access to two sites where nuclear activity may have occurred in the past.
Practice question for mains:
Q. Discuss the role of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in enhancing nuclear accountability of the world.
Concerns over Iran
- The latest row over access comes as a landmark deal between Iran and world powers in 2015 continues to unravel.
- If IAEA passes a resolution critical of Iran, it would be the first of its kind since 2012.
- Even though the two sites are not thought to be key to Iran’s current activities, the agency says it needs to know if past activities going back almost two decades have been properly declared and all materials accounted for.
- The 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 has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. It was established as an autonomous organisation on 29 July 1957.
- Though established independently of the UN through its own international treaty, the IAEA reports to both the UN General Assembly and UN Security Council.
Functions of IAEA
- 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 energy, science and 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.