IAEA and its director ElBaradei are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Friday, October 7, 2005

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei addressing the media

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a UN agency, and its Director Mohammed ElBaradei have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2005, the committee's chairman Professor Ole Danbolt Mjøs announced today.

In the announcement, the Norwegian Nobel Committee emphasizes the role the IAEA plays in preventing military use of nuclear energy arms proliferation, and ensuring peaceful use of nuclear energy. Furthermore, the Committee notes that IAEA's work is in line with Alfred Nobel's original motivation for the Peace Prize, namely the reduction of standing armies. The committee expressed its belief that the increasing threat of nuclear arms today must be met through the broadest possible international cooperation, as exemplified in the work of the IAEA.

A spokeswoman for the IAEA, Melissa Flemming, said in Vienna: "I never thought we'd see this day. This is the proudest day for the IAEA. We are proud, astonished, elated."

The IAEA, headquartered in Vienna and established in 1957, seeks to prevent nuclear proliferation and promotes the peaceful use of nuclear energy. It is currently involved in efforts to bring DPRK (North Korea) back to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime and verifying the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program. These negotiations have been difficult, and are viewed by some [1] as not very successful.

The 63-year old Mohamed ElBaradei, an Egyptian-born lawyer, heads the agency since 1997 and was recently confirmed for a third term.