The World Selection Committee consists of six people who meet every year to review the applications of IAEA programmes and ongoing activities to establish the minimum criteria for selecting states and countries that are eligible to be a member of IAEA

World Selection Committee

The first person is the President of IAEA, Mr. Mladen Mikulak. Mr. Mikulak is the former vice-president of Czech Republic and now serves as the head of the IAEA, representing both the organisation and its member states. Therefore, Mr. Mikulak must have an impeccable resume, as he has to have an impeccable character, having not only the knowledge and skills necessary to be a successful head of the World Selection Committee but also the vision and integrity to oversee the organisation so that it continues on the path it should be taking, one that leads to peace and stability throughout the world.

Besides the President, the other members of the World Selection Committee are from Mauritius, New Zealand, India, Australia and China. The goal of the committee is to ensure that every country applying to join the IAEA has the best record on its human-rights record and that it can be counted on to support the goals and missions of the IAEA whilst working with other countries to enhance cooperation on various environmental issues as well as providing assistance to the countries in economic growth and development. For this purpose, every country is reviewed over a four year period and at the end of the review, the countries receive either a ‘passing score’ or a ‘poor score’, which indicates how they are performing on some key areas. If a country receives a poor score, it loses the right to participate in the IAEA and is not eligible to apply for membership in any future negotiations.

During the review, all candidates are subject to medical examinations to determine their suitability to be allowed to take part in any activities that the IAEA may conduct. Candidates who pass the medical examination are then interviewed, given questions and given the opportunity to make their case. A panel of experts then decide who among the candidates should be given the status of candidates accepted as candidates eligible to join the IAEA as full-fledged member. The next step is for them to be selected and sent to the IAEA headquarters in Geneva.

The process is highly structured to eliminate bias and partiality, ensuring that the best candidate is chosen for membership. The fact is that the first round of selection was done in 1998 when only three members were selected out of the more than one hundred candidates that applied for the position. At that time, the number of countries applying made it impossible for the candidate to get a position on the IAEA executive committee. This means that the process is very slow and requires a lot of patience from the candidate’s side and from the IAEA itself.

Currently, there are about seventy countries which are part of the IAEA including twenty-two from the United States. This makes it the largest organization in the world with a major strategic role for the protection of the world’s human health and assets. It is not surprising therefore that more people want a place in the organization. The number of applicants currently has increased, making it difficult for countries such as the United States to have a representative on the Executive committee.