The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)and Sri Lanka

The IAEA works for the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. Its key roles contribute to international peace and security, and to the world's Millennium Goals for social, economic and environmental development.  The IAEA was established as an autonomous organization on 29 July 1957. Though established independently of the United Nations, the Agency reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. Its headquarters are located in Vienna, Austria.

The main areas of work of the IAEA include nuclear technology and applications, nuclear safety and security and safeguards and verification.  The IAEA also works on thematic issues, including radioactive waste management, cancer care and control, nuclear power status and outlook, an action plan on nuclear safety and issues relating to the Fukushima accident.

As of 2014, the IAEA membership included 162 countries.  Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to obtain membership in 1957. The Embassy and Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka works directly with the IAEA, under the guidance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Power of Energy. Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez presided over the 58th the Regular Session of IAEA General Conference from 22 – 26 September 2014. The Atomic Energy Authority of Sri Lanka has played a vital contributory role and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Council, which was formed in January 2015, will further strengthen Sri Lanka’s engagement in matters relating to nuclear issues.

One of the key areas of work of the IAEA is technical cooperation through which it enhances national capacities through training.  Every year, several Sri Lankan officials and experts are afforded the opportunity to receive training and also attend seminars, workshops and conferences organized by the IAEA on various subject areas relating to nuclear issues. Furthermore, the IAEA together with the Government of Sri Lanka, has collaborated to host several regional meetings and workshops in Sri Lanka.  In addition, the IAEA has also gifted a Gamma Irradiation Facility to Sri Lanka in 2014.   

Sri Lanka is a party to several international agreements relating to nuclear issues including the Convention on Nuclear Safety.

Ambassador Saroja Sirisena Presents Credentials to the IAEA

Ambassador Saroja Sirisena presented Letters of Credence to Mr. Cornel Feruta, Actg.Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on 23 August 2019, at the Vienna International Centre accrediting her as the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the IAEA.

The Permanent Representative recalled the exceptional work carried out by the IAEA under the leadership and guidance of late Yukiya Amano, Director General of the IAEA and his concrete achievements in the spheres of nuclear security, safety, safeguards and technical cooperation during his decade long tenure. She further highlighted the necessity of capacity building and technical cooperation within IAEA and among its Member States and the need of expanding such programmes in order to further raise the level of awareness on nuclear technology for peaceful use.

The Actg. Director General commended Sri Lanka’s involvement in the IAEA and the substantial work carried out by Sri Lanka’s diplomats over the past decade including the plan to set up a power plant in the future. He further ensured legal assistance to Sri Lanka in areas where assistance is needed.

Ambassador Sirisena emphasised the significance of the peaceful use of nuclear technology in the spheres of Medicine, Agriculture and Education and elaborated on tangible economic benefits for developing countries resulting from such technologies whilst reaffirming Sri Lanka’s continuous commitment to the Organisation and active engagement with the Organisation’s future activities.

Saroja Sirisena joined Sri Lanka Foreign Service in 1998 and served as Director General Economic Affairs, Director General Public Diplomacy and the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately prior to her appointment in Vienna.

In her Diplomatic Career, she served as the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai from 2014-2018 and held positions at Sri Lanka Missions in Geneva, Brussels and Paris.

Ambassador Saroja Sirisena is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, Australia and has completed post graduate studies at the École Nationale d’Administration in France. She is a past pupil of Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo.

The ceremony was attended by Mr. Mahesh Mahakumarage, Second Secretary, Ms. Asanka Weerasingha, Attaché of the Sri Lanka Mission and Ms Camila Polo Flórez, Chief of Protocol & External Relations Officer and Mr Nuno Luzio, External Relations Officer of the IAEA.

STATE MINISTER OF POWER AND ENERGY LEADS THE SRI LANKA DELEGATION TO THE 63RD REGULAR SESSION OF THE IAEA’S GENERAL CONFERENCE

State Minister of Power and Energy Chamipika Premadasa, led the Sri Lanka delegation to the 63rd Regular Session of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) General Conference. Minister Premadasa delivered the country statement at the plenary on 17 September 2019 at the Vienna International Centre.

Addressing the plenary, the Minister extended his condolences on the passing away of the Director General of the IAEA Yukiya Amano, and lauded the late Director General Amano as an outstanding diplomat and principled supporter of strengthening international security and stability.

The State Minister expounded the measures taken by the Sri Lanka in collaboration with the IAEA to strengthen regulatory infrastructure with regard to safety, security and safeguards. The comprehensive cancer control framework programme implemented in 2018 in collaboration with the IAEA focused on strengthening national cancer control capacities and mobilizing resources for cancer control related activities in Sri Lanka were appreciated by the Minister.

The 63rd Regular Session of the IAEA comprised Ambassador & Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka Saroja Sirisena, Chairman-Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Regulatory Council Mr. Saminda Jayasekara, Director General-Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Regulatory Council Mr. H.L.A. Ranjith, Director General-Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Board Mr. T.M.R. Tennakooon, Mrs. Irosha Cooray/ Counsellor and Mr. Mahesh Mahakumarage /Second Secretary of the Embassy of Sri Lanka.

Embassy and Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
Vienna, Austria
18 September 2019

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