Amano Endorsed for Second IAEA Term

Kelsey Davenport

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors on March 6 endorsed Yukiya Amano to serve a second four-year term as the agency’s director-general.

The 35-member board voted by acclamation to renew Amano’s term, according to a statement by John Barrett of Canada, the board chairman. The IAEA’s 159 member states now must formally confirm the board’s decision at the agency’s General Conference in September. Amano’s new term will begin in December.

Amano did not face any competition for the post. That contrasts with 2009, when he needed five rounds of balloting to secure the necessary two-thirds of the board’s votes. At the time, several countries expressed concern that Amano, then Japan’s representative to the board, was too close to the United States and would not be an independent director-general. (See ACT, May 2009.)

In a March 6 press conference following the board meeting, Amano said he was “deeply grateful” for the trust of the board members.

Meanwhile, Tero Varjoranta of Finland has been tapped to succeed Herman Nackaerts as the agency’s top safeguards official in October, the Finnish government said in a March 4 press release. Nackaerts, who is retiring, has led the agency’s negotiations with Iran over its controversial nuclear activities.