The IAEA officially celebrated its golden anniversary on 29 July 2007, marking the day 50 years ago when its Statute officially entered into force. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Pope Benedict XVI and others have sent anniversary messages voicing congratulations and support.
"Over the past half century of distinguished international service, the IAEA has strived to accelerate and expand its contributions to security and development," Mr. Ban Ki-Moon said in a congratulatory letter to Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei. "I applaud the ceaseless efforts made by the IAEA towards this end."
Speaking from his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo on Sunday, 29 July, Pope Bendict XVI cited the IAEA´s 50th anniversary and said he is "fully approving of the IAEA´s goal".
"The epochal changes that have occurred in the last 50 years demonstrate how, in the difficult crossroads in which humanity finds itself, the commitment to encourage non-proliferation of nuclear arms, to promote a progressive and agreed upon nuclear disarmament and to support the use of peaceful and safe nuclear technology for authentic development, respecting the environment and ever mindful of the most disadvantaged populations, is always more present and urgent", he stated.
The Pontiff also noted that the Holy See has been a Member State of the IAEA since its foundation.
At the IAEA and among Member States, anniversary celebrations kicked off months ago, and are continuing. They include:
- Special events organized by Member States, including the Republic of Korea, Japan, Hungary and Bulgaria. (See Story Resources)
- A Children's Painting Contest
- A pictorial history of "Atoms for Peace", focusing on the IAEA and its work in security and development.
- A "Memorabilia" photo exhibition displayed at the IAEA General Conference and featured on the IAEA.org website.
- The IAEA in Time, an updated chronology of key dates and developments issued inside the IAEA Bulletin.
See Story Resources to learn about the IAEA and its historical development.