Co-operation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Co-operation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Founded in 1957, the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, was set up as the world’s “Atoms for Peace” organisation within the United Nations family; the Agency serves as the world’s intergovernmental forum for scientific and
technical cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

According to its Charter, “the Agency shall seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world. It shall ensure, so far as it is able, that assistance provided by it or at its request or under its supervision or control is not used in such a way as to further any military purpose.

Among its other objectives, the IAEA aims to support the transfer of nuclear technology and know-how (high technologies), to support the establishment of a reliable and secure international order in the use of nuclear energy, to ensure the use of nuclear materials only for peaceful purposes and to disseminate information on the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
As of May 2021, 173 countries are members of the IAEA.
On the 24th of May 2000, Azerbaijan submitted an application for membership to the IAEA Secretary General and requested that Azerbaijan be included in the IAEA Eastern European Group. In Vienna, on the 5th to the 9th of June 2000, Azerbaijan’s request was approved at a meeting of the Board of Governors, a decision-making and political body, and adopted at the General Conference.
By Decision of the Milli Majlis (National Assembly) No75-2Q of the 13th of February 2001, the Republic of Azerbaijan joined the IAEA Statute and thus became a full-fledged member of the organisation.
The Republic of Azerbaijan was a member of the IAEA Board of Governors (IAEA BoG) in 2009-2011 and was re-elected to continue its IAEA BoG membership for the years 2018-2020.
In order to raise relations with the IAEA and regulate co-operation, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan signed an Order establishing the State Commission for Cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the IAEA on the 5th of September 2007, and the First Deputy Prime Minister, Yagub Eyyubov, was appointed Chairman of this Commission. On the 16th of July 2010 and the 23rd of June 2016, changes were made in the composition of the Commission.
The State Agency for Regulation of Nuclear and Radiological Activities was established within the Ministry of Emergency Situations by Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan No746 dated the 24th of April 2008.
By the Order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated the 8th of May 2014, the National Nuclear Research Centre Closed Joint-Stock Company was established under the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
In 2010, IAEA Deputy Director General Ana Maria Cetto visited Azerbaijan, and in 2016, IAEA Deputy Director General Dazhu Yang visited Azerbaijan.
On the 18th to the 19th of April 2018, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano visited Azerbaijan.
Mr Rafael Mariano Grossi (now IAEA Director General) and Mr Cornel Feruta (then IAEA Assistant Director General), visited our country to attend the Non-Aligned Movement Summit held in Baku on the 25th to the 26th of October 2019.

Signed documents
On the 4th of August 1992, the Republic of Azerbaijan acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPNW) by Law No. 254. In accordance with Paragraph 1 of Article 3 of this Treaty, the Safeguards Agreement between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the IAEA in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was signed on the 6th of November 1998 and entered into force on the 29th of April 1999. The Additional Protocol to the Agreement was signed on the 5th of July 2000 and ratified on
the 24th of October 2000, which entered into force on the 29th of November 2000.

The Small Quantities Protocol (SQP) annexed to the Safeguards Agreement entered into force on the 20th of November 2006. This Protocol shall be concluded with states having less than the amount of nuclear material specified in this Agreement. Following the decision of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan to build a nuclear research reactor, an amendment to the Small Quantities Protocol was officially repealed on the 15th of July 2015 by an exchange of letters between Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

The Revised Additional Agreement on Technical Assistance by IAEA to the Republic of Azerbaijan was signed on the 17th of September 2002 and entered into force on the 11th of March 2014.
Currently, the Safeguards Agreement between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the IAEA in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Additional Provisions on the Protocol attached to it entered into force on the 12th of October 2018.

The Republic of Azerbaijan has acceded to the following international documents within the IAEA:

  • Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials (INFCIRC / 274) and Amendments of the 8th of  July 2005;
  • International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (UN General Assembly Resolution 59/290 of the 15th of March 2005).

At the same time, in August 2014, our country adopted a decision on the implementation of the IAEA Code of Conduct for the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and the Guidance on the Import and Import of Radioactive Sources.

In addition, the following national regulations have been adopted:

  • Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the 11th of July 1997 on measures to strengthen the control over radioactive safety in the territory of Azerbaijan;
  • Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on radioactive safety of the population dated the 30th of December 1997;
  • Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the 10th of March 1998 on the approval of Licensing Rules for the use and industrial storage of explosives and equipment, radioactive and radiation sources, as well as supplies.

    Country Programme Framework (CPF) for the Republic of Azerbaijan in the field of Technical Cooperation with the IAEA
    A Country Programme Framework (CPF), prepared by a Member State in collaboration with the Secretariat, defines mutually agreed priority development needs and interests to be supported through technical cooperation activities. This document is of particular importance in terms of the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Programme for Azerbaijan, as it contains the jointly agreed priority needs and interests of our country, which will be supported through technical cooperation programmes. The priorities set out in the document are being implemented through projects under the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme.

Azerbaijan’s First Country Programme Framework (CPF) was signed during the General Conference in 2003 and provided support for Technical Cooperation in the following four areas:

  • strengthening regulatory and legislative infrastructure;
  • increasing the level of services in the field of nuclear diagnostics and radiotherapy;
  • development of radioactive waste management;
  • application of nuclear methods to protect and restore the environment.

The next CPF document covers 2010-2015 and focuses on the following areas:

  • strengthening radiation and nuclear safety regulation infrastructure;
  • improving the quality of health care by improving the treatment and early diagnosis of cancer using modern nuclear techniques;
  • improving the institutional infrastructure for the use of nuclear technologies and techniques to support economic development and national development projects;
  • improving radioactive waste management;
  • strengthening the environmental and radioecology, radioactive monitoring system.

The next Country Programme Framework for 2015-2020 was signed by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the IAEA, Ambassador Galib Israfilov, and the IAEA Deputy Director General, Mr Kwaku Aning, on the 9th of February 2015 in Vienna.

According to the document, over the next 5 years, the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme will focus on the following areas:

  • strengthening the regulatory and legislative infrastructure for radiation safety;
  • improving radioactive waste management;
  • continuous development of capabilities in diagnostics, radiotherapy services, quality assurance / control and calibration;
  • application of nuclear techniques to protect and restore the environment;
  • increasing the capacity of border and customs checkpoints for radiation monitoring and control;
  • application of nuclear technology for radiation processing and other purposes.

The Azerbaijani side has received an appeal to sign the next Country Programme Framework, which will cover 2020-2025, and work is underway to re-sign this document.

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