Sixty years ago today, the IAEA formally came into existence after 26 countries ratified its Statute, bringing it into force.

In a statement to mark the 60-year anniversary, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said: “The IAEA is proud to celebrate six decades of serving the world. Our motto is Atoms for Peace and Development.”

Click below to watch the video recording of the statement.

“We help 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,” Mr Amano said.

His words echo the IAEA Statute, which 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.”

Testimony to the Agency’s success, its membership has grown from 26 founding members to 168 countries today, Mr Amano said.

He talked of the broad and evolving mandate of the Agency, and of its ability to adapt.

“The IAEA has faced many challenges in the past 60 years, but it has proven to be flexible by keeping pace with the changing needs of Member States and able to learn from experience,” Mr Amano said. “As we begin our seventh decade, I am confident that, with the active support of our Member States, we will deal successfully with all the challenges that lie ahead.”

Mr Amano expressed his appreciation for what has been done over the past 60 years of the IAEA’s existence. “I am grateful to all Agency staff – past and present – and to my four predecessors as Director General for their hard work and dedication,” he said. “Their combined efforts have made the IAEA the remarkable and unique organization which it is today.”