Arms Control and International Security: The IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative and the NPT
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) established the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI) in 2010 to raise extrabudgetary contributions in support of Agency activities that promote the peaceful uses of nuclear technology.
The PUI supports implementation of Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which requires NPT States Parties that are “in a position to do so” to “cooperate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.”
At least 18 IAEA Member States and the European Union have together provided the PUI approximately $77 million in financial or in-kind contributions since 2010. The United States has provided over $50 million of this amount. At the 2015 NPT Review Conference, the United States announced an additional commitment of $50 million over the next five years to the PUI.
Since 2010, the PUI has provided the IAEA with additional flexibility and resources for high priority IAEA Member State projects, including responding to unforeseen challenges. These projects support human health, water resource management, food security, protection of the environment, nuclear power infrastructure development, and nuclear safety and security.
The list of countries having benefited from PUI-supported IAEA projects has grown to more than 150 states worldwide. Examples of PUI-supported peaceful uses activities include:
- Advancing Human Health: The PUI has supported the advancement of education and training in nuclear medicine, application of nuclear techniques to improve the treatment of cardiac patients, enhancement of early detection capabilities for Ebola in Africa, and strengthening of national capacities in states throughout the world to detect and treat cancer.
- Supporting Water Resource Management: PUI funding has supported the design of a large-scale water management project to respond to sustained drought and widespread starvation and malnutrition in the Sahel region of Africa. IAEA Photos
- Ensuring Food Security: The PUI has helped to fund expanded laboratory capacities in Africa to improve the detection of transboundary animal diseases, and in Latin America to ensure food safety and reduce the fruit fly threat to agricultural resources. The PUI has also supported the development of a sustainable zone free of the tsetse fly in the Niayes region of Senegal to relieve the burden of trypanosomiasis and increase food and agricultural productivity.
- Protecting the Environment: PUI contributions have helped to fund projects to better understand the effects of climate change, determine and trace pollution in marine waters, mitigate the effects of harmful algal blooms, and promote global actions against ocean acidification.
- Developing Nuclear Power Infrastructure: The PUI has supported IAEA efforts to strengthen nuclear power infrastructure development in Member States, provide legislative assistance to nuclear newcomer countries, promote sustainable uranium mining practices, and enhance technical and management capacity in states considering nuclear power.
- Promoting Nuclear Safety and Security: PUI contributions have helped to fund projects that strengthen the control of radioactive sources and radioactive waste, upgrade radiation protection infrastructures, support human resource development in nuclear security, and strengthen national capabilities for responding to nuclear and radiological emergencies.
Though much has been achieved with the help of the PUI, there are always more needs to be met.
Providing funding to the PUI allows donors to address real needs in countries around the world, while complementing their international assistance priorities and advancing the goals of the NPT. States are encouraged to explore with the IAEA Secretariat various projects to which they could contribute through the PUI, and to look for opportunities to partner with other governments on PUI-supported projects. Member States benefiting from the PUI are encouraged to highlight for others the impact of the PUI in advancing their national goals.