The IAEA Board of Governors held today an informal meeting during which each of the five candidates for the post of Director General of the IAEA made a presentation of their candidature to the Agency´s Members.
The five nominated candidates are:
Mr. Yukiya Amano of Japan;
Mr. Luis Echávarri of Spain;
Mr. Abdul Samad Minty of South Africa;
Mr. Ernest Petrič of Slovenia; and
Mr. Jean-Pol Poncelet of Belgium.
The candidates were nominated by their respective governments in line with a process approved by the Board in October 2008. IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei´s term of office expires on 30 November 2009. He has stated that he is not available for a fourth term of office.
The Chairperson of the Board of Governors Ambassador Taous Feroukhi said that today´s meeting should be seen as a first step in the process of the election of the next Director General.
"This meeting will help Member States to form an objective assessment of the five candidates," she said before opening the session.
A closed meeting of the Board of Governors has been called for 9 June during which a "straw poll" on the five candidates will be held. The straw poll, a secret ballot mechanism envisaged by the IAEA Statute in relation to the election of the Director General, is not binding.
A formal vote on the election of the Director General is to be held most likely late June, early July.
Dr. ElBaradei is the IAEA´s fourth Director General since 1957. He was first appointed to the office effective December 1997, and reappointed in 2001 and 2005. He follows Hans Blix, IAEA Director General from 1981 to 1997; Sigvard Eklund, IAEA Director General from 1961 to 1981; and Sterling Cole, IAEA Director General from 1957 to 1961.