Romanian diplomat Cornel Feruta will be the acting Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, until member states agree on a permanent successor to deceased Director General Yukiya Amano.“As a consequence of the recent passing away of Director General Yukiya Amano, and in order to ensure the orderly and smooth functioning of the Agency, the Board of Governors has decided to designate Mr. Cornel Feruta as acting Director General, until a Director General assumes office,” IAEA announced on Thursday, July 25.
The Director General is appointed by the U.N. agency’s 35-nation board of governors for four years. According to Reuters, Cornel Feruta has been mentioned by diplomats as a likely candidate for the top job. Another potential candidate is Argentina’s ambassador to the IAEA, Rafael Grossi.
The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) also reacted to Feruta’s appointment: “The Foreign Affairs Ministry welcomes the decision of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on July 25, 2019, by which ambassador Cornel Feruta was appointed interim Director General of the Agency in Vienna.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry is convinced that ambassador Feruta’s experience and expertise will contribute to strengthening the IAEA’s important role at the international level.”
Before being appointed acting General Director of the IAEA, Romanian diplomat Cornel Feruta held the position of Assistant Director General and Chief Coordinator at the IAEA, which he joined in September 2013. In 2012-2013, he served as Director General for Political Affairs in the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and for a short period as Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Romania. In 2013, he was Chairman of the Second Preparatory Committee of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
From 2007 to 2012, Feruta was Romania’s Ambassador and Resident Representative to the IAEA, U.N. and other international organizations in Vienna. In this role, he served as President of the 55th IAEA General Conference in 2011 and as Governor to the IAEA Board of Governors from October 2008 to September 2010 as well as Board Vice-Chair.