More than 50 states attended the Final Preparatory Conference, held on 23-24 October 2008 in Madrid, Spain. About 150 representatives from industrialised and developing countries finalised discussions on the IRENA Statute and thus paved the way for IRENA to be founded on 26 January 2009 in Bonn, Germany.
The IRENA Statute calls for a lean and effective structure to fulfill the agency's tasks and objectives. The articles of the founding statute further established a solid financial basis for the agency through mandatory and voluntary contributions. Participating states agreed on a resolution establishing the preparatory commission as an interim body to initiate IRENA’s work. The first meeting of the preparatory commission took place on 27 January 2009, the day after the Founding Conference, to ensure a rapid and effective start of the agency. At the Final Preparatory Conference participants also agreed on procedures and criteria for selecting IRENA's Interim Director-General and interim headquarters, to guarantee transparency and fairness.
They also agreed on the scope of IRENA's initial activities. The work programme was further developed before the second meeting of the preparatory commission in June 2009. Participants emphasised the provision, on request, of policy advice for national governments, facilitation of technology transfers and capacity building. The agency was also mandated to work with other related international organisations, thereby creating synergies.
Germany was designated as depository and asked to take the next steps in the founding process. In this role it circulated official documentation to all participating countries together with invitations to the Founding Conference and the first meetings of the preparatory commission in Bonn. It also sent IRENA’s founding documents to all UN member states.