IAEA chief Yukiya Amano dies at 72


Vienna: Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has died at age 72.
The former Japanese diplomat who led the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog since 2009 had participated in several Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conferences over the last several years.
The lifelong diplomat began his first term as IAEA Director General on December 1, 2009 after he was elected in July by the Board of Governors in the sixth round of voting and defeating his primary rival South African representative Abdul Samad Minty.
Announcing with “deepest sadness the passing away of Director General Yukiya Amano,” the IAEA Secretariat said that he was planning to announce his decision to step down from the international monitoring body.
“The Secretariat wishes to share his most recent reflection which he intended to include in his letter to the Board of Governors announcing 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,” the Secretariat said.
The IAEA flag will be lowered to half-mast, the agency said.
Jackie Wolcott, the U.S. ambassador to international organizations in Vienna said in a statement that Amano “was greatly respected as an effective leader, diplomat, and true gentleman by the entire staff of the U.S. Mission and by fellow diplomats and civil servants across the United States government.”
“Much of Mr. Amano’s life was dedicated to international peace, security, and development, not just his decade-long tenure as Director General of the IAEA but also throughout his diplomatic career, which included service in the United States. I consider myself lucky to have known and worked with such a statesman.
“On this sad occasion, we grieve with the Director General’s wife Yukika, his family, and all of our colleagues at the IAEA and across the UN system. The United States and all nuclear nonproliferation advocates have lost a great friend, and the United Nations family has lost an exceptional public servant,” the statement said.

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