IAEA Marking its First Half Century
Austrian President Heinz Fischer viewing part of the the IAEA's memorabilia photo exhibit during the 50th IAEA General Conference. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)
The IAEA officially turns 50 in July 2007, and early anniversary commemorations are pointing the way.
A first venue is the IAEA General Conference in Vienna, which opens 18 September and brings together more than a thousand delegates from the Agency's 140 Member States. Special exhibits at the conference -- being held at the Austria Center near IAEA headquarters -- include a picturesque timeline, a photo exhibition of key events and personalities, and films and displays marking the Nobel Peace Prize Award that the IAEA and Director General Mohamed ElBaradei received in 2005.
"As we approach the 50th anniversary of the IAEA, I can think of no better introduction to this time of reflection and renewal nor any greater honour than the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize we received," Dr. ElBaradei told the General Conference. "But we should remember that with recognition and achievement comes also the responsibility to maintain and strengthen our commitment to the mission with which we have been entrusted."
Outgoing UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan also voiced his support, in a message to the Conference, as did Austrian President Heinz Fischer.
"For the past 50 years the IAEA has carried out its mandate with professionalism and dignity," Mr. Annan said. "I prepare to leave the office with a profound sense of reassurance that the stewardship of the peaceful atom is in good hands."