FACTBOX: Who is new head of IAEA, Yukiya Amano?

Thu Jul 2, 2009 12:35pm EDT

(Reuters) - Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano won the election to be director-general of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, on Thursday.

Here are some details about Yukiya Amano:

AMANO ON THE IAEA:

* Amano said he would stick to the IAEA's technical mandate of inspections to forestall proliferation and fostering the safe use of nuclear energy for economic development and medicine. He said he would also improve communication between the IAEA inspectorate and the governors, and manage the agency better.

* Amano is close to the U.S. position on Iran, which is under IAEA investigation over Western suspicions that its declared civilian nuclear energy program is a facade for work on atomic bombs, something Iran denies.

* Amano said in a February 2009 interview that Iran should be treated with respect through fruitful dialogue. He praised U.S. President Barack Obama's readiness to sit down and talk to Iran over its nuclear ambitions, after years of unproductive isolation policy by predecessor George W. Bush.

ROAD TO THE TOP:

* He took part in arms control talks that produced the 1995 extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the verification protocol for the 2001 Biological Weapons Convention.

* Amano served as chairman of the IAEA's policy-making governing body in 2005-06 when the agency and its head, Mohamed ElBaradei, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Amano accepted the prize on behalf of the agency.

LIFE DETAILS:

* Amano, born in 1947, has specialized in multilateral disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation posts and negotiations over 36 years in Japan's foreign service, with postings in Washington, Brussels, Geneva and Vientiane.

* He graduated from the faculty of law at the University of Tokyo and in 1972 joined the Japanese Foreign Ministry. In 1988 he became director for research coordination and senior research fellow at Japan's Institute of International Affairs.

* He is regarded as a reserved technocrat who would de-politicize the IAEA helm after 12 years of the outspoken ElBaradei.

(Reporting by Mark Heinrich; Additional writing and editing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

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