It reports regularly to the United Nations General Assembly and has a duty to notify the United Nations Security Council directly if a threat to world peace has been ascertained. The IAEA has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
Its known as the world's «Atoms for Peace and Development» organization within the United Nations family.
The IAEA is the world's central intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the nuclear field.
Representatives from all its current 171 member states (as of April 2020) attend the IAEA's annual General Conference.
The Board of Governors meets once a quarter, while the Programme and Budget Committee (PBC) and the Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee (TACC) each convene every 6 months.
The IAEA is generally described as having 3 main missions:
- Peaceful uses: Promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy by its member states,
- Safeguards: Implementing safeguards to verify that nuclear energy is not used for military purposes, and
- Nuclear safety: Promoting high standards for nuclear safety
It sends in its own experts to provide developing countries with assistance, for example nuclear applications in the fields of medicine, water and agriculture, as well as funding scholarships and training courses, et cetera.
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi assumed office on 3 December 2019.