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. "Sri Lanka currently holds the presidency of the General Conference of IAEA. 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.