New Round of Voting for IAEA Director General

Five candidates were nominated in the second round of voting to replace Mohamed ElBaradei as Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. ElBaradei’s term ends in November.

Yukiya Amano of Japan was renominated for the post. Amano failed by one vote to win the necessary two-thirds majority of the IAEA’s Board of Governors over Abdul Samad Minty of South Africa in the first round. Minty was also renominated in the second round.
The three other candidates are Luis Echávarri of Spain, Ernest Petrič of Slovenia, and Jean-Pol Poncelet of Belgium.

As we reported earlier, Amano is a technocrat who would serve the interests of the United States far better than Minty who would probably be no different than ElBaradei. If anything, Minty might enable Iran even more than ElBaradei in its quest to develop nuclear weapons.
Among the new candidates, Luis Echávarri of Spain appears to have the best chance.

Echávarri heads the Nuclear Energy Agency which promotes the development of nuclear power.Echávarri would probably be a good choice and he is also a technocrat.

Petrič and Poncelet probably have little chance although Petrič did
serve as Chairman of the Board of Governors.

The IAEA is supposed to be the technical arm of the United Nations in the enforcement of the non-proliferation treaty on nuclear weapons.  Under ElBaradei, the agency engaged in extended diplomatic efforts with Iran in an effort to avoid a confrontation with the US and Europe.  But the net effect of that effort was to give Iran additional time to develop its nuclear capability.

There will be extensive diplomatic efforts behind the scenes to try to broker a deal. Part of that deal might be to persuade those candidates who have little chance to drop out.

The developed nations will likely throw their support behind either Amano or Echávarri in the next round while the developing nations will probably support Minty again.

Ed Waage worked at the IAEA during 2005.