The work of the IAEA involves many treaties, which play an important role in establishing legally binding international rules in the areas that they cover.

    The treaties relating to the work of the IAEA cover a wide range of subjects, from the organization of the Agency’s own work to nuclear safety, nuclear security, safeguards and nuclear non-proliferation, and civil liability for nuclear damage. They fall into three categories: treaties under IAEA auspices; agreements to which the IAEA is a party; and IAEA-related treaties.

    Treaties under IAEA auspices are international agreements negotiated and concluded by IAEA Member States with the support of the Agency’s Secretariat. The IAEA Director General serves as depositary for these treaties. The IAEA Office of Legal Affairs, acting on behalf of the Director General, holds the original texts of the treaties, receives treaty instruments from States seeking to join these treaties and notifies States and the United Nations of the official status of the treaties. Examples of this category of treaties are the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its Amendment, as well as a number of conventions on civil liability for nuclear damage.

    Agreements to which the IAEA is a party include those international agreements the IAEA has concluded in its own right as an international organization with individual States or other international organizations. These treaties confer rights and obligations on the IAEA. Notable examples include the IAEA Headquarters agreement with Austria, the IAEA relationship agreement with the United Nations, all safeguards agreements and all agreements relating to technical cooperation concluded by the IAEA with individual States.

    IAEA-related treaties include international agreements that were not concluded under IAEA auspices and to which the IAEA is not a party but that are relevant to the Agency’s work and may envisage roles and responsibilities for the IAEA. Examples include the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as well as regional non-proliferation treaties.