New IAEA Chief to be elected by January 2019

Two weeks after the death of its director general Yukiya Amano, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Thursday revealed the tinetable for the election of new director general.

As per the decision of the member states the nomination for the post shall be received till September 5. The timeline was decided at the special meeting of the IAEA’s board of governors in Vienna.

“The Board expects to appoint a director general in October 2019 and, in any case, envisages that the person appointed will assume office no later than 1 January 2020,” it said in a statement.

News reports have indicated that the US wanted to push for a timetable to ensure a new chief by September. But other states sought more time. The position of IAEA chief has become important with the Iran-US nuclear deal hanging fire and the tension between two countries spiralling into a conflict.

The 2015 nuclear accord with Iran has been jeopardy when President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the United States out of the agreement in May 2018.

The IAEA has for the time being elected Romanian diplomat Cornel Feruta as its acting director general till the time a permanent successor is elected to ensure the orderly and smooth functioning of the Agency.

Amano had led the agency since December 2009 and died on July 18 at the age of 72. He was suffering for long term illness and was due to step down in March 2019. No details were given about the cause of death.

Several names are considered to be in race of Amano’s successor. Argentina’s ambassador to the IAEA, Rafael Grossi and Feruta are considered to be some of the front runners.