IAEA Board of Governors to name acting Director General on July 25

  • 17:27 24 July 2019

IAEA Board of Governors to name acting Director General on July 25

The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will convene for a special session on July 25 to discuss the issue of appointing a new Director General following Yukiya Amano’s passing, as well as an acting Director General, the IAEA announced on Wednesday, ONA reports citing TASS.

"The agenda of the meeting is expected to include: a tribute to the late Director General Yukiya Amano; appointment of the Director General; designation of an Acting Director General," the statement reads.

TASS has learnt from the European diplomatic circles in the IAEA that Argentinian Permanent Representative to the international organizations in Vienna Rafael Grossi, who earlier served as an aide to Amano, will stand as a candidate for the IAEA Director General post. The IAEA’s Chief Coordinator and former Permanent Representative of Romania to the international organizations in Vienna, Cornel Feruta can become his rival for the office.

At the same time, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Management Mary Alice Hayward, an American, is expected to be appointed Acting Director General.

In accordance with the IAEA procedures, the Board of Governors makes the decision on appointing a Director General in a vote. In addition, each candidate should be supported by a majority of the IAEA Board of Governors' members. Later, the candidature endorsed by the board is approved at the IAEA General Conference held annually in autumn. The regular 63rd conference is scheduled for September 16-20.

Yukiya Amano has died at the age of 72, the IAEA press service reported on Monday. The IAEA Secretariat also published Amano’s statement, where he planned to notify the agency's Board of Governors of his decision to step down. "During the past decade, the Agency delivered concrete results to achieve the objective of "Atoms for Peace and Development", thanks to the support of Member States and the dedication of Agency staff. I am very proud of our achievements, and grateful to Member States and Agency staff," Amano wrote. It was earlier reported that Amano might resign in March 2020 before his term expired due to an illness.

The 72-year old Japanese diplomat headed the IAEA since December 2009. In September 2017, Amano’s candidacy was approved for the third four-year term in a row to lead the organization until November 30, 2021. Amano’s tenure saw the signing of the historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. The JCPOA agreed by Tehran and six world powers (five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) was inked on July 14, 2015 in Vienna.

Faig Mahmudov