Estonia elected to board of International Atomic Energy Agency

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tallinn.
The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tallinn. Source: ERR

For the first time Estonia has been elected to the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors.

The decision was made during the agency's general meeting on Thursday.

The IAEA was founded in 1957 and includes 171 member states. Estonia joined the IAEA on 31 January in 1992. Its main task is to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, relevant cooperation, and to monitor the measures of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu, said this is an important achievement because Estonia will get a chance to have a say in international security issues, such as the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Membership also supports Estonia's role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2010-2021.

Minister for the Environment, Rene Kokk, said Estonia's priorities during its membership include the development of technological solutions suitable for small states for meeting climate objectives and the safe handling of radioactive waste.

 Estonia will be represented at the board of the organisation by Toomas Kukk, Estonia's Permanent Representative to international organisations in Vienna. The Ministry of the Environment will also appoint specialised attaché Reelika Runnel to Vienna to provide support during Estonia's membership.

 The IAEA has an important role in helping countries meet the sustainable development goals of the UN, above all climate targets, and in the safe use of nuclear technology and the promotion of radiation safety.

For instance, the IAEA helped Estonia build its radiation safety system between 1996 and 1997 and draw up its first law on radiation. The IAEA is also cooperating with Estonia within the framework of a technical cooperation programme to train experts and acquire medical equipment.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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