This paper is the product of an IRSS study on reform of the The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as part of a broader IRSS program of work on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The IAEA, now thirty-five years old, faces important tasks. It is needed as the implementing body for international controls to reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation, terrorism, accident, or pollution. These threats are significant and growing, in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere. However, the IAEA is not well prepared for its control mission, in large part because it has sought to simultaneously promote and control nuclear technology. Reform and strengthening of the Agency are required.
This paper sketches some potential elements of a reform program and discusses means for debating and implementing reforms. It concludes that reform will require shedding of the promotional function, amendments to the IAEA Statute, and action by the IAEA General Conference. Such reforms would lay the basis for an increase in the powers, resources, and responsibilities of the Agency.