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IAEA begins talks over new chief.

5/26/2009 9:52:18 AM

The United Nations nuclear watchdog is meeting in Austria to hear from five candidates vying for the agency's top job, after it failed to elect a director-general earlier this year.

The contenders - from Japan, South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa. , Spain, Belgium and Slovenia - will present their credentials to International Atomic Energy Agency International Atomic Energy Agency: see Atomic Energy Agency, International.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

International organization officially founded in 1957 to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
 (IAEA IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency. ) board members behind closed doors on Tuesday.

Elections to replace Mohamed ElBaradei Mohamed ElBaradei (Arabic: محمد البرادعي, transliteration: , who is stepping down in November after 12 years in office, will begin on June 9.

Tuesday's meeting comes a day after a nuclear test by North Korea, which has angered the international community and will pose a significant challenge for the UN agency.

'Objective assessment'

Taous Feroukhi, chairwoman of the the IAEA's board, said the meeting was "an opportunity for the five candidates to address the entire membership" of the agency.

"It will help the member states have an objective assessment of the five candidates. This is the main purpose," she said, adding that there would be no formal vote on the day.

The candidates presenting their cases are Jean-Pol Poncelet from Belgium, Yukiya Amano of Japan, Ernest Petric of Slovenia, Abdul Samad Abdul Samad is a citizen of Afghanistan held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba.[1] His Guantanamo detainee ID number is 911.  Minty of South Africa and Luis Echavarri of Spain.

ElBaradei's successor will take over sensitive investigations into the nuclear activities of Syria, Iran and North Korea, and will also have to persuade member countries to contribute more money to the agency's budget.

IAEA governors have been searching in vain for a strong consensus candidate who could bridge a damaging split between industrialised Adj. 1. industrialised - made industrial; converted to industrialism; "industrialized areas"

industrial - having highly developed industries; "the industrial revolution"; "an industrial nation"
 and developing nations.

Developed states are mainly concerned about nuclear proliferation Nuclear proliferation is a term now used to describe the spread of nuclear weapons, fissile material, and weapons-applicable nuclear technology and information, to nations which are not recognized as "nuclear weapon States" by the  while developing countries want someone who plays an active role in delivering nuclear technology around the world.

In March, a race between Amano and Minty was inconclusive after neither candidate was able to secure the two-thirds majority needed to become the agency's new chief.

Slovenia's candidate is a former a former IAEA ambassador, while Spain's Echavarri currently heads the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's nuclear energy agency.

Poncelet is a former Belgian deputy prime minister A Deputy Prime Minister or Vice Prime Minister is, in some countries, a government minister who can take the position of acting Prime Minister when the real Prime Minister is temporarily absent. , defence and energy minister, and current senior vice president of Areva, a French company which mainly specialises in nuclear power. 2003 - 2009

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Date:May 26, 2009
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