Produced by the IAEA Division of Public Information, June 2002:
Content and editing: JoAnne Ford
Brochure design, screendesign and Web production support: Alexandra Diesner-Kuepfer
Photo support: Brenda Blann

To learn more about how nuclear science and technology are contributing to sustainable development, visit the IAEA’s WorldAtom website www.iaea.org
The International
Atomic Energy Agency
& Sustainable Development

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei

Science and technology are playing key roles to help countries make strides towards the goals of sustainable development. Maintaining progress to overcome the major challenges of eradicating poverty, fighting disease, and protecting our environment depends upon sustained and cooperative action among committed partners.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is contributing to the world’s collective efforts in essential ways. Through channels of technical cooperation involving longstanding and new partnerships, we are working to build up the scientific and technological capacities of developing countries, functioning as a catalyst for social and economic development.

Many of our nuclear science and technology activities are related to applications serving basic human needs. They focus, for example, on the use of nuclear techniques and radioisotopes to increase food production, and to improve health care, manage water resources, and assess sources of environmental pollution.

As we will report at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, for instance, since 1992, more than 800 Agency projects, valued at nearly $400 million, have supported priorities related to agriculture, human health, water and other fields of sustainable development. These are above and beyond the Agency’s extensive activities to build up capacities, particularly in developing countries, for overall energy planning for sustainable development.

As we move into the 21st century, there is growing awareness that far more needs to be done to raise and secure the quality of life for all the world’s people, and that we need to use all the tools, resources, and expertise at hand. Where they hold comparative advantages, nuclear science and technology have become preferred solutions — and sometimes the only solutions — to many economic and social problems around the world.

The IAEA will continue to work closely with its Member States so that these technologies are applied safely and efficiently for the benefit of the world’s sustainable development.

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Photo Credits:
C. Carnemark/World Bank; L. Wedekind/IAEA;
J. Perez-Vargas/IAEA; PhotoDisc; PhotoDisc.