The IAEA was established by the United Nations in 1957. IAEA Statute was adopted at the founding conference in New York on October 23, 1956 and entered into force on July 29, 1957. Currently the IAEA has 169 Member-States (as of December 2017).
The IAEA headquarters are located in Vienna, there are also regional offices in Toronto, Geneva, New York and Tokyo, laboratories in Austria and Monaco, Research Centre in Italy.
The General Conference and the Board of Governors are policy-making organs of the IAEA. The General Conference consists of representatives of all IAEA Member States and meets annually to take major decisions, adopt resolutions, and elect members of the Board of Governors etc.
The IAEA Board of Governors consists of 35 states and generally meets five times per year to consider issues under its agenda and to make recommendations to the General Conference on the IAEA's financial statements, programme and budget. It considers applications for membership, approves safeguards agreements and the publication of the IAEA's safety standards. Belarus was a member of the IAEA Board of Governors in 1999 – 2001, 2005 – 2007 and 2015-2017.
Statutory objectives of the Agency are to promote the development of nuclear energy and nuclear technology, nuclear and radiological security, scientific research in the field of nuclear energy and technology.
Another focus of the IAEA is to verify the implementation of the international safeguards to ensure that States are honouring their obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Belarus attaches great attention to the implementation of the whole set of international agreements concluded under the auspices of the IAEA: the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, the Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.
Belarus and the IAEA maintain steady high-level dialogue. Heads of the IAEA visited Belarus several times. H.E. Dr. Mohamed El Baradei – in 2001 and H.E. Yukiya Amano – in 2012 and 2016.
Belarus is an active and constant participant of the IAEA technical cooperation program aimed at assisting its Member-States in promoting peaceful use of nuclear energy. Projects, which are currently conducted in Belarus, help the country to develop human resources for nuclear-energy industry, to ensure the highest possible level of nuclear and radiation safety, to contribute to the development of nuclear medicine, and also to address unique challenges of ensuring sustainable development of the areas affected by the Chernobyl accident.
In 2013 Belarus decided to introduce nuclear energy into its energy mix and started the construction of its first Nuclear Power Plant. Belarus works closely with the IAEA to ensure the highest level of nuclear safety possible. The Agency plays a key role in development and promotion of international safety standards that are an absolute priority for Belarus.
Belarus has already hosted a number of IAEA safety-related expert and review missions, including Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR, in 2012), Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS, in 2016), Site and External Events Design Mission (SEED, in 2017). Their outcomes prove strong commitment of Belarus to ensure the highest level of nuclear safety possible. The cooperation with the Agency is ongoing and Belarus is interested to utilize the IAEA potential in nuclear safety at maximum at all stages of the NPP life cycle.