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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09UNVIEVIENNA94 2009-03-06 14:59:00 SECRET UNVIE
Cable title:  

IAEA/MARCH BOARD: DG ELECTION SET FOR MARCH 26-27

Tags:   AORC PREL KNNP IAEA JA SF 
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VZCZCXYZ0019
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUNV #0094/01 0651459
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 061459Z MAR 09
FM USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9095
INFO RUEHII/VIENNA IAEA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
					  S E C R E T UNVIE VIENNA 000094 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR IO/T, IO/MNSA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/05/2019
TAGS: AORC PREL KNNP IAEA JA SF
SUBJECT: IAEA/MARCH BOARD: DG ELECTION SET FOR MARCH 26-27

REF: A) 08UNVIE 643 B) UNVIE 10

Classified By: Ambassador Gregory L. Schulte for reasons 1.4 b and d

-----
Summary
-------

1, (S) Board Chair Taos Feroukhi reported to the March Board
of Governors a on the results of her consultations with Board
members on the candidates for Director General and set the
date for a Special Session to conduct an election on March
26-27. She explained that the date was a compromise between
those (supporters of Japanese Governor Amano) who sought an
earlier date and those (supporters of South African Governor
Minty) who sought deferral until June. Conducting the vote
in March would allow for sufficient time for new nominations
if the Board is deadlocked with neither of the two candidates
able to secure a two-thirds majority. Amano is close to
two-thirds but needs to sway a few of the officially
undecided votes (which may include Mexico, Russia, China and
Saudi Arabia) to clinch the election. The two candidates
gave stump speeches to the Board, similar to their previous
pronouncements (refs a-b). Amano presented himself as a good
manager while Minty was more visionary and more inclined to
entertain a "political" role for the Director General.
Neither performance was likely to have swayed any votes and
the candidates entertained a few questions.


2. (C) The Board also had an initial discussion of term
limits for the Director General, an item considered at the
request of the EU, U.S. and primarily like-minded countries,
with a view to adoption of term limits upon the appointment
of the next Director General. The G-77 had not formulated a
position on the issue but the NAM argued that it should be
dealt with comprehensively along with other management
improvements undertaken by UN agencies and considered in the
context of the Future of the Agency debate, thus deferring
the issue. Russia expressed surprising and unhelpful
opposition to term limits at the IAEA, arguing that this was
a "unique" agency unlike the rest of the UN system. The
Russian Governor privately explained that its opposition was
a "political" decision made in Moscow, where term limits were
seen as critical of previous DGs. As a next step, the
Secretariat will prepare a non-paper on procedural mechanisms
to institute term limits. The April Programme and Budget
Committee will also consider the "Terms and Conditions of the
Appointment of the Director General." End Summary.

------------------
Election Date Set
-----------------


3. (SBU) Board Chair Taos Feroukhi reported on the results of
her informal consultations with Board members at the March
Board of Governors meeting. Pursuant to the Rules of
Procedure for Appointment of the Director General, the Chair
conducted consultations, held between January 20 and the end
of February, with a view to consensus. It became clear,
however, that neither of the two candidates, Japanese
Governor Amano or South African Governor Minty, enjoyed
consensus and that she must therefore organize a vote to
allow for appointment of the DG by the June deadline
stipulated in the Rules of Procedure.


4. (SBU) The Board Chair announced that an election would be
held during a Special Session on March 26-27, a date which
she stressed was "not arbitrary" and took account of several
factors: the request by several Board members for an early
election during the March Board session; the request by
others for more time to prepare, and the responsibility of
the Chair to ensure a "smooth outcome" in the event of
deadlock in the first round, i.e. if the Board does not
accord a two-thirds majority to either candidate, to allow
for a new call for nominations. Feroukhi noted that she had
consulted in particular with those who had requested deferral
of the election to a later date (i.e. Cuba, Egypt and South
Africa) and to those who were undecided. She informed the
Board that the date of March 26-27 had been accepted by all
and that the "undecided" members said they would be ready to
take part. The Chair expressed appreciation to both
candidates for their cooperation and announced that Finland
and the Philippines would act as the "assessors" during the
balloting.


5. (SBU) The Board Chair outlined the details of the
balloting procedure. The Special Session, open only to the
35 Board of Governors states, would convene on the morning of
March 26, when three rounds of voting would be conducted,
unless one of the two candidates secures two-thirds of the
vote in round one or two. If three rounds of voting produce
no two-thirds majority , the meeting would be adjourned until
the next day to allow for consultations and time for
delegations to seek new instructions. On the morning of the
March 27, the "leading candidate" would be the subject of a
yes/no/abstention vote. Should the "leading candidate" not
win two-thirds of those participating in this up or down
vote, the same procedure would be applied to the "second
candidate" as outlined in the Rules. (Note: Abstentions do
not count. End note.) If a candidate wins two-thirds, the
Special Session, then open to all Member States, would
reconvene that afternoon to elect the next Director General
by acclamation. (Note: The General Conference would approve
the appointment in September and the new DG takes office
December
1. End Note).



6. (S) At the conclusion of the agenda item on Appointment of
the DG, the Board Chair gaveled through the March 26-27 date
with no objection. By our estimations, Amano is close to
securing a two-thirds majority with a handful of "undecided"
votes hanging in the balance. Among those mentioned in the
Vienna corridors as being officially undecided are Mexico,
Saudi Arabia, Russia and China. There are rumblings that
Russia and China are leaning in Minty's favor. Given that
this is a secret ballot, Amano would need to secure as many
of the undecided as possible to allow a sufficient margin of
24 votes out of the 35-member Board (assuming no
abstentions.)



--------------------------


Amano and Minty Campaign Speeches


--------------------------





7. (C) The Board Chair invited the two candidates for
Director General to address the Board. Amano and Minty each
delivered their stump speeches, which tracked with their
previously reported remarks to the Western European and Other
Group (WEOG) and Geneva Group (refs a-b); full texts emailed
to the Department. As in the past, Minty's delivery was more
polished than that of Amano; Amano acknowledged during the Q
& A that he was a better listener than a public speaker.



8. (SBU) Amano reviewed his basic positions and views on the
role of the Director General, which was to serve the
fundamental objectives of the Statute as regards
non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy,
including in technical cooperation (TC). Amano reiterated
that he would pursue these Statutory functions in a "balanced
manner." He reaffirmed his solid commitment to disarmament,
borne of Japan's history, and to strengthening safeguards,
including through universal application of the AP, and noted
the "diverse" cases of Iran and the DPRK. He outlined
Japan's support for TC and his own experience with nuclear
safety after Chernobyl, tse-tse fly and cancer therapy
programs. He also offered a welcome call for more attention
to non-traditional sources of funding. Speaking to his
strengths, Amano underlined the responsibility of the DG for
management of the Agency, particularly in light of the
financial crisis. Finding the optimal balance between the
needs of the Agency and the capacity of member states to
contribute would require more efficient use of resources and
prioritization. Amano also pledged to improve internal
communication within the IAEA and with member states; to
recruit the younger generation and women; to take a hands-on
approach, for example, through site-visits to nuclear power
plants; and to promote science and technology as a key
component of all Agency activities. The main objectives of
the Agency remained unchanged but needed to be reinvigorated
in priority areas including safeguards, nuclear non-power and
power applications given the nuclear renaissance, fuel
assurances, nuclear safety and preventing nuclear terrorism.
Amano concluded by noting that he would not seek a third
term, which elicited a series of chuckles from the Board room
(as it seemed to presume a second term).



9. (SBU) Minty's speech was more political and visionary. He
began by noting the fundamental impact of the DG on how the
Agency was led, as was exemplified by the integrity, dignity
and high standards set by ElBaradei. Minty harkened back to
the UN Charter and the commitment to economic and social
advancement embodied by Eisenhower's vision of atoms for
peace that led to the establishment of the IAEA. He stressed
that the Agency was "not an island" in acknowledging the
mutually reinforcing roles of disarmament and
nonproliferation, but was careful to stipulate that the IAEA
was not a forum on disarmament. Among Agency priorities he
noted meeting increasing demand for nuclear power in a safe
and secure manner and the indispensability of strengthened
safeguards. The DG would need to deal proactively with these
issues, but this would also require enhancement of nuclear
education through TC. On budget issues, he noted "signals"
that more resources could be available though he thought zero
real growth was a more realistic expectation, and he
underlined the need to prevent the collapse of the
verification infrastructure of Agency laboratories to ensure
an independent capability. He supported integrated
safeguards and efficiency improvements such as AIPS and
suggested that host-country agreements could be enhanced,
i.e., to have Austria in particular bear more cost of hosting
the Agency. Minty concluded by addressing the issue of the
"political" role of the IAEA, noting that the IAEA was unique
among technical agencies in its reporting function to the UN
Security Council. This political role should neither be
over-emphasized nor ignored, he advised. Noting South
Africa's history and neutrality, he saw the role of the IAEA
as promoting atoms "only for peace."



10. (SBU) Both candidates entertained a few questions, the
most extensive of which came from Iran, which asked about
regular budget funding for TC, disarmament, and
confidentiality of safeguards information, and tried to
pigeonhole Amano on why he had cited Iran and the DPRK in the
same breath. Both candidates also fielded a question from
India on the impact of the financial crisis. Minty noted in
this regard that it would be dangerous to cut corners given
the IAEA's unique responsibility for safeguards, safety and
security. On TC funding, Amano cited the conclusions of a
1996-1997 working group in that an amendment to the Statute
would be required to incorporate TC into the regular budget,
but he was open to the idea if the Board and member states
agreed. Minty noted that he had participated in this
working group at the time and that the key was "sufficient,
assured, and predictable" funding for TC. Amano noted his
bona fides and long experience on disarmament but advised
that the IAEA could and should not replace the Conference on
Disarmament or the UNGA First Committee. Both candidates
agreed on the need to protect safeguards confidentiality.
Minty saw this as a key issue which could affect a country's
willingness to share information it would not want released,
and postulated that it may require a review of the system and
that leaks may also come from Board members. Amano dismissed
Iran's question about his reference to Iran and DPRK in his
opening remarks, noting that he did not equate the two.



11. (SBU) Egypt also asked a provocative question about
dealing with political differences among member states,
claiming that the Board was divided on every issue. Minty
opined that it was not possible for the DG to minimize these
differences though he should promote dialogue on issues. He
acknowledged polarizing positions on the Board, particularly
if certain groups or countries saw particular issues as a
litmus test. Amano saw it as a "fact of life" that there are
different priorities. He advised that during his campaign he
had sought support across regional groups and also noted his
Asian cultural proclivity to be a good listener and consensus
builder.



12. (SBU) Brazil asked about the seven-year maximum rule for
Agency staff and how this affected loyalty to the
organization, particularly among mid-career staff apt to
return to national organizations from which they were
recruited. Both candidates evaded the conflict of interest
issue. Minty noted that there were many exceptions to this
rule, particularly in safeguards, and the need to expand the
base of education so no one group monopolizes positions.
Amano saw the seven year rule as an opportunity to renew the
Agency staff and recruit new skills for new priorities; he
noted that Japanese nationals have benefited from a rotations
in and out of the IAEA. Finally, France asked about
translation of Agency documents into all languages, a
question which gave Amano the opportunity to show off his
fluent French.



--------------------------


Term Limits


--------------------------





13. (SBU) The Board had a preliminary discussion of term
limits for the Director General under a separate item. The
Board Chair mistakenly introduced this as the initiative of
one country (the UK). The EU opening statement, delivered on
behalf of the EU and 15 associated countries, clarified that
the request for this agenda item had been made by all EU
members together with Australia, Canada, Japan, the ROK,
Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Switzerland and the U.S. The
EU recalled that UNGA 51/241 (1997) on Strengthening the UN
System had encouraged UN specialized agencies to consider
term limits and that all except the ILO had done so, as had
OPCW and CTBTO. The EU called for timely consideration of
term limits in view of the Director General election and
advised that this issue should be dealt with as a
self-standing item not tied to the Future of the Agency
debate. The EU specified that instituting DG term limits did
not require amendment of the Statute and could be
accomplished via a Board resolution, and asked the
Secretariat to prepare a non-paper setting out possible
procedural mechanisms. The U.S., Canada, Australia and the
ROK delivered similar statements and further endorsed term
limits as good management practice. The U.S. and Australia
also noted that term limits allow for broader geographic
representation. Australia stipulated that the consideration
of term limits would not affect the current DG election, as
both candidates had said they would not seek a third term.
The U.S. recommended Board and GC approval of term limits
upon the appointment of the next DG. Canada noted that it
was important for the next DG to be held to two terms and
used the opportunity to officially announce its support for

Amano.



14. (SBU) Argentina on behalf of the G-77 delivered a
non-committal statement noting that the group was not in a
position to engage in a substantive discussion due to late
distribution of the memorandum requesting an agenda item on
term limits. The G-77 advised that the legal and Statutory
aspects of the issue had to be examined and that a decision
on this issue should be kept separate from the DG election
process; the NAM echoed this view. The NAM statement,
delivered by Cuba, paid lip service to strengthening the UN
system but insisted that DG term limits be dealt with in a
more comprehensive context along with other aspects of the
UNGA resolution. The NAM recommended that these issues be
considered as part of the Future of the Agency discussion and
by the General Conference, as they were of interest to the
entire membership. National statements by the NAM troika,
Cuba, Egypt and Malaysia enumerated other management issues
including geographic distribution and gender balance, no
monopoly on senior posts and term limits for all senior
management. At our encouragement, Saudi Arabia gave a more
forward leaning statement calling on the Board to discuss all
aspects in a comprehensive manner and to agree on a term
limits mechanism. Saudi Arabia also noted that term limits
allow for rotation among regional groups.



15. (C) Toward the end of the item, Russia made an unhelpful
intervention in opposition to DG term limits. Russia argued
that unlike other UN agencies, the IAEA was unique,
technically specific, and had benefited from the accumulated
experience of previous DGs having served successive terms of
office. Under DG ElBaradei's skillful leadership the IAEA
had become a highly respected authority recognized with the
Nobel Prize, Russia observed. Experience could not be
disregarded, and Russia saw no objective need to change the
existing rules, quoting in English "Don't fix it if it is not
broken." Russia claimed that term limits may require a long
process of amending the Statute and that other procedures may
not provide enough of a legal foundation to institute and
sustain term limitation. Russia concluded that it would be
best to "confine" the term limits discussion to the Future of
the Agency, a point seconded by Brazil.



16. (C) Comment: The Russian Governor warned us ahead of
time that he had received instructions along these lines. As
a Geneva Group member, Russia has been a supporter of term
limits in other IOs. Russian Msnoff confided that opposition
to applying the concept at the IAEA was a "political
decision" made in Moscow. Accoring to the Governor, some in
MOscow see term limits as critical of previous DGs and the
present one.



17. (SBU) Comment contd.: Unlike Russia, the NAM does not
take a principled position against DG term limits at the IAEA
but by linking it to other management issues evidently wants
something in exchange (e.g. geographic distribution) and/or
would rather wait out the results of the current DG election
cycle. Clearly, shunting term limits to Future of the Agency
would be unproductive. Term limits could be discussed in
the context of the April Program and Budget Committee's
consideration of the "Terms and Conditions of Appointment of
the Director General" (GOV/2009/15), though this document is
silent on the issue. The Secretariat's non-paper on
procedural mechanisms will also help advance the debate.
Mission will continue to promote DG term limits and build
support for a Board/GC decision upon appointment of the next
DG. End Comment.



18. (U) Begin text of U.S. statement on term limits:

Madame Chairwoman,

The upcoming elections for Director General signal a time of
transition for the IAEA. Transitions bring opportunities.
We have the opportunity to enact term limits at the IAEA in a
manner that is separate from specific candidates but
advances our common interest in effective management and the
application of best practices. The United States has
supported term limits for directorships across the UN system
as a matter of good management practice.

While the IAEA is technically not a United Nations agency, it
is a close affiliate that is part of the UN Common System and
it shares similar standards of performance and
accountability. UN General Assembly resolution 51/241,
enacted more than a decade ago, called for the establishment
of a four-year uniform term of office that would be renewable
once for executive heads of subsidiary agencies. The
resolution encouraged specialized agencies to also consider
term limits.

Term limits are important. The overwhelming majority of UN
organizations have implemented term limits, as have
international organizations, including here in Vienna, with a
mandate similar to that of the IAEA. The following
international organizations have instituted term limits: the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, the Food and
Agriculture Organization, International Civil Aviation
Organization, the International Fund for Agriculture
Development, the International Maritime Organization, the
International Telecommunications Union, the Organization for
the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Pan American Health
Organization, the UN Education, Scientific, and Cultural
Organization, the United Nations Industrial Development
Organization, here in Vienna, the Universal Postal Union,
the World Intellectual Property Organization, the World
Health Organization, the World Meteorological Organization,
the World Trade Organization. Even the United Nations
Secretary- General informally adheres to a two-
term limit.

The IAEA is one of two remaining UN-affiliated international
organizations that have yet to establish term limits.
Despite a succession of highly capable Director Generals, for
which we have been fortunate, the IAEA still needs to
implement this practice. Term limits would also help ensure
the potential for all regional groups to be represented in
the IAEA leadership.

We regard term limits for the Director General as an
important enough issue to be considered on its own merits,
even as we promote other management best practices. Given
the timely opportunity presented by the DG election cycle, we
would not suggest further deferral of the decision for the
Future of the Agency discussions. A decision on term limits
can be made separate to the ongoing election, as many have
suggested, but in parallel.

Finally, Madam Chairwoman, I would note that the IAEA Statute
is silent on term limits, so we should consider
implementation of term limits by the Board and General
Conference. Specifically, a short operational Board
resolution could "recommend the General Conference approve a
two-term limit for the Director General." The Board can
adopt such a decision upon the June appointment of the next
Director General.

Thank you.

End text of U.S. statement.

SCHULTE