The death of Japanese Director General Yukiya Amano News -

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday (July 22, 2019) announced the death of IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano at a time when he was preparing to leave office due to an unspecified illness.

Amano died at the age of 72 and has been director general of the IAEA since 2009 and led the UN body during a period of intense diplomatic efforts related to Iran's nuclear program.

Amano was preparing to leave office in March, long before the end of his third four-year term, which was supposed to end on Nov. 30, 2021.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced in September that Amano was under an unspecified medical procedure. Diplomats said the nature of his illness was forbidden to talk about within the agency, but it seemed more and here with every appearance in public. "The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) secretariat deeply regrets the death of Director General Yukiya Amano," the IAEA secretariat said in a statement.

The notice did not specify a timeframe for choosing who would succeed him, but the race for the post has begun to take shape since last week when it emerged he would step down early.

Rafael Grosi, Argentina's ambassador to the IAEA, is seeking to take over. Diplomats say Cornell Ferrotta, the agency's chief coordinator and Romania representative, who is actually Amano's director, will likely run. Others may join the competition.

Amano was first elected director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2009, replacing Mohamed ElBaradei, and in November 2017 began a new four-year term. The IAEA, which includes 171 countries, plays a key role in combating nuclear proliferation as a means of ensuring that member states of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) respect their obligations under this framework.

(Reuters, AFP)

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