173175 10/9/2008 11:29 08UNVIEVIENNA545 UNVIE CONFIDENTIAL 08UNVIE534 VZCZCXYZ0000 PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHUNV #0545/01 2831129 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 091129Z OCT 08 FM USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8509 INFO RUEHII/VIENNA IAEA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 0110 RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ASTANA PRIORITY 0050 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 0042 RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0190 RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0225 RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR PRIORITY 0073 RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 0141 RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO PRIORITY 0003 RUEHOU/AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU PRIORITY 0007 RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV PRIORITY 0218 RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 0135 C O N F I D E N T I A L UNVIE VIENNA 000545
DEPT FOR IO/T, ISN/MNSA, ISN/RA
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/08/2018 TAGS: AORC, IAEA, KNPP, MNUC, PREL, UN SUBJECT: IAEA/BOG: OCTOBER SESSION APPROVES DG ELECTION PROCEDURES
REF: UNVIE 534 AND PREVIOUS
Classified By: Ambassador Gregory L. Schulte for reasons 1.4 b and d
1.(SBU) At a pro forma session following the IAEA General Conference, the Board of Governors on October 6 welcomed new Board members Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cuba, Egypt, Malaysia, New Zealand, Romania, Spain, Turkey and Uruguay elected for 2008-2010. The new Board approved by acclamation the Africa Group's selection of Algerian Ambassador Taos Feroukhi as the new Board Chair for 2008-2009. Ambassador Kristi Kauppi of Finland and Ambassador Cornel Feruta of Romania will serve as Vice Chairs. In the wake of its hard-fought electoral battle against Syria for the MESA seat (reftel), Afghanistan delivered a statement heralding its return to the Board after a 44-year absence. Afghanistan conveyed its deep commitment to the Agency and positioned itself as a unifying voice bridging East and West, North and South. Afghan Charge Monawar also noted the value of IAEA Technical Cooperation and safety programs for the removal of radioactive contamination from his country. Syria was notably absent from the room.
2.(C) The only substantive order of business entailed the Board's approval of the Procedures for Appointment of the Director General (GOV/2008/4), which had first been adopted in 1997. Board Chair Feroukhi simply noted, as indicated in this Secretariat document, that the Director General was not available for another term of office. Although present at the Board session, DG ElBaradei did not make a statement, and absented himself during the treatment of this agenda item. The Board also set the closing date for nominations as December 31, 2008. Japanese Governor Amano immediately requested the floor and proceeded to deliver a campaign speech in English and French. Amano noted his Government's announcement of his candidacy at the UNGA and IAEA General Conference and extolled his own resume, including as a former Chairman of the Board and NPT Prepcom. He also referred to Japan's unique history as the only country to have suffered nuclear devastation and its commitment to disarmament, non-proliferation, nuclear energy and technical cooperation. Board member Albania and Colombia, under Rule 50, seconded Amano's nomination. Uruguayan and UK Ambassadors sitting to either side of Ambassador Schulte commented to him, as the Algerian and Chilean Ambassadors did later, on the unseemliness of Amano's campaign pitch, which apparently had the opposite of its desired effect.
3.(C) Also present at the Board session, the other declared candidate for DG, South African Governor Minty remained silent. Chairwoman Feroukhi advised that she would begin informal consultations with the Board early in the New Year on the DG election in the hopes of reaching agreement on a single candidate and avoiding "cumbersome procedures." (Comment: Not known for her management and organizational skills, Feroukhi will need all the help she can get overseeing the electoral process in addition to a Board calendar already overladen with 20/20, Reliable Access and nuclear verification issues. End Comment.)
4.(SBU) Speaking under Any Other Business, Ambassador Schulte raised the anomalous situation that a few Member States do not belong to any regional group and are consequently disenfranchised from representation on the Board of Governors, as we learned during the heated campaign for the MESA seat was the case of Kazakhstan and other Central Asian states (reftel). (Note: All of those disenfranchised, including Israel, should nominally belong to MESA. End Note.) The U.S. intervention prompted an unscripted exchange among MESA members that highlighted divisions in the group. Indian MESA Chair Kumar noted that MESA had advised the Secretariat of Kazakhstan's situation as requiring the attention of all Member States and requested that this note be circulated. He later clarified that MESA did not view Kazakhstan as a member since it had not participated in the group, and he continued to insist that MESA was a Statutory area not a regional group. Iran, seconded by Cuba, bemoaned MESA's under-representation and called for ratification of the
amendment to Article VI expanding the Board, which led France to comment on the authority of the existing Statute. Iran and Cuba also took the U.S. to task for meddling in the affairs of a regional group. Saudi Arabia, contradicting the Indian Chair, identified this as an internal matter for the group and noted that MESA would soon consult on the issue. For its part, Israel contrasted its case with that of Kazakhstan as a country firmly in the geographic area that was unwelcome in the group. Chairman Feroukhi took note of the Board discussion as something to be deferred for a future date with appropriate preparation.
5.(C) Ambassador will conduct a first consultation with Board Chairwoman Feroukhi on October 9 to lay markers on U.S. priorities over the coming twelve months, starting with an early decision on Reliable Access to Nuclear Fuel (RANF), a thorough report on Syria at the November Board, and further pressure on Iran. At least for now, Feroukhi is disinclined to engage on 20/20, deferring to the strongly expressed concern of the G-77 that 20/20 could distort the IAEA's traditional balance. SCHULTE