The international light source SESAME was founded under the auspices of UNESCO in May 2002, with statutes similar to CERN. Its members are Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority and Turkey, with a large number of observers from the countries with major accelerator infrastructures. The objectives are to provide a state-of-the-art light source for peaceful scientific research and for the training of scientists, engineers and technicians. Jordan, which has been selected to host the center, has provided the land as well as funds for the construction of the building. The injectors are based on the donated BESSY I components. The state-of-the-art 2.5 GeV synchrotron is scheduled to be commissioned in 2014.
CERN signed in 2003 a MoU with Jordan and SESAME, in preparation of a cooperation agreement signed in 2004, in support for research and training programmes.