The First Asian Head of the UN Atomic Agency
The successor to the respected Egyptian lawyer, Mohamed ElBaradei, who held the post of inspector general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for 12 years, Yukio Amano, is also a lawyer and a career diplomat who has served IAEA as Japan’s representative, and headed its board of governors. Experienced in disarmament, he was director general of disarmament and non-proliferation in Japan’s foreign ministry before being assigned to the IAEA.Mr. Amano is unusually qualified for the job, in terms of both career training and history. Although born two years after the end of the second world war, he grew up in the only country that has actually faced the devastation of nuclear attack. What happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki are part of the national history that will never be forgotten.A month before he left office, Dr. ElBaradei was still hopeful that Iran would proceed with a proposal it had accepted last October to export low-enriched uranium abroad for conversion into fuel rods and returned to Iran for a reactor that would produce medical supplies. ElBaradei urged Iran to accept the opportunity that might not come again. But Iran chose to withdraw from the agreement and on the day Mr. Amano took office, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publicly stated: “Friendly relations with the agency are over.” A few days earlier, Iran had defied IAEA inspectors’ demand that it shut down a secret enrichment plant, and Ahmadinejad boasted that they would build …
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Publication information: Article title: The First Asian Head of the UN Atomic Agency. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Manila Bulletin. Publication date: December 14, 2009. Page number: Not available. © 2009 Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp. COPYRIGHT 2009 Gale Group.
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