Nuclear Proliferation and the IAEA Selection Committee
The World Selection Committee, commonly called the “WSC,” is an organization comprised of six people who meet each year to review the applications and activities of all IAEA member programs and activities to set the standards for choosing such countries and/or countries that will become members of IAEA. The term “WSC” is derived from the “world” part of “IAEA.” Therefore, the “WSC” is an organization dedicated to protecting the world community from nuclear proliferation. The committee meets in Washington, DC, or its equivalent. It meets at least one month each year, with a minimum of three members from each of the nations that wish to become members of IAEA; convenes for at least two days in Washington, DC, or its equivalent, and makes its report, which is commonly known as a “thesis.”
The “thesis” is made by presenting the information gathered from the annual IAEA World Conference and Exhibition, to the Secretariat and to the IAEA board of directors, for review and consideration. This review and consideration is carried out by the “board of directors,” which consists of twelve members, including the Secretaries-Designate and the Directors-General. At its meeting in Washington, DC, the board of directors considers the progress of the program for IAEA membership, and then make a recommendation to the Secretariat, on the basis of its review and assessment. The purpose of the World Selection Committee is to play a vital role in the process of nuclear proliferation, and to ensure that those nations which have applied to become IAEA members, are selected in the most appropriate and thorough way.
In order to be a candidate for world selection, a country has to apply to join the IAEA on its own, and present its application in an acceptable manner to the IAEA. Countries may also apply jointly with other nations. The Secretariat of the IAEA is the body which carries out this selection process. The “board of directors” is responsible for carrying out the inspections of each country that has applied to join the program, and they are responsible for deciding which country is granted acceptance into the organization.
The IAEA has been instrumental in assisting the global effort against nuclear proliferation, with more than one third of all the countries that applied for membership being accepted. The committee was established in November 2021 as part of the expanded efforts of the IAEA to counter proliferation in the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The purpose of the NPT is to prevent the diversion of nuclear material for military purposes. In order to be accepted into the NPT, a country must first prove to the IAEA that it is not trying to acquire nuclear weaponry or nuclear technology for weapons development. Signing up for the NPT is one of the measures taken in response to the global efforts against nuclear proliferation.
The IAEA has been instrumental in promoting cooperation among nations in the nuclear proliferation area, and has coordinated efforts with other international organizations such as the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Organization. The IAEA has set its sights on nations that do not meet their NPT obligations, and wants to pressure these nations into re-establishing their credibility so that they can continue the negotiations for joining the Non Proliferation Treaty later on. In this way, the IAEA helps keep the NPT in force. It is also looking out for nations that are perceived to be in violation of the NPT and bringing them into line. If one nation feels that another is in violation of the NPT, it is in the best interest of the NPT to respond in kind.
There are multiple reasons as to why the IAEA has a very important role in the global fight against nuclear proliferation. The selection committee for the organization is due to meet soon, and the agency is busy with projects that help enhance the safety of the environment, detecting nuclear weapons or other nuclear material, identifying and tracking illicit activities, and reassuring the public that the agency is doing all it can to implement the provisions of the NPT and other relevant treaties. For this and many other reasons, the International Atomic Energy Agency is an important player in the global effort to eliminate nuclear weapons from the Earth.