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Cablegate: Iaea: The Amano Transition, Sitrep 1

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUNV #0563/01 3491242
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151242Z DEC 09
FM USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0416
INFO RUEHII/VIENNA IAEA POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 0238
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI 0220
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 0183
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0374
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0352

UNCLAS UNVIE VIENNA 000563

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR T, S/SANAC, IO, AND ISN
DOE FOR S2, NA-20, NE-6
NSC FOR SCHEINMAN, HOLGATE, CONNERY
NRC FOR OIP DOANE, SCHWARTZMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AORC PREL KNNP JP AR
SUBJECT: IAEA: THE AMANO TRANSITION, SITREP 1

REF: A. UNVIE 322
B. UNVIE 478
C. UNVIE 536
D. UNVIE 556

1. (U) UNVIE will report in weekly to bi-weekly
installments, or as events warrant, on the personnel and
management transition at the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) under its new Director General. This is the
first telegram in a series that will extend into early 2010.

2. (SBU) Director General (DG) Yukiya Amano confronts the
opportunity to bring about a holistic change of upper
management at the IAEA and the challenge as he does so of
juggling the IAEA's multiple constituencies. He has the
prerogative to switch out the Agency's six deputy directors
general (DDG) and a similar number of other key officials
(ref A), but also, ultimately, anyone else in the Secretariat
whom he sees fit to reassign for the duration of their
existing contracts. Initial signs are that he will act
decisively, not to conduct a rapid wholesale turnover but to
redirect the Agency -- in a manner the USG will likely find
agreeable. Moreover, he promises us "no surprises" while he
keeps his decision-making close to the vest so as to not
create false expectations among those jockeying for
positions.

3. (SBU) As reported ref C para 5, Amano will keep DDGs
David Waller (Management) and Olli Heinonen (Safeguards) in
place for an initial period (through June 2012 in the case of
Heinonen, we are told). Amano expect to hear carping over
these decisions from various quarters for various reasons,
but Amano sees continuity in these two key functions as
imperative. For the remaining four DDG positions, the advice
of ADG/EXPO Head Vilmos Cserveny (whom Amano is retaining) is
to build a team of people to work with over a seven-year
duration (corresponding to the Agency's rotation policy and
approximating a two-term tenure for the DG himself). Piecing
together a mosaic, Amano must balance the technical expertise
and broad sector experience each position demands, e.g., from
a nuclear regulatory, power plant, research, or economic
development background, with the Agency's crying need for
coordination, management and leadership and the imperatives
of geographic and gender balance. Advanced nuclear nations
including the P5, medium industrial powers, and states with
limited nuclear or radiological applications all merit
representation. The G-77 will seek "adequate" representation
among senior posts.

4. (SBU) Against this background, Amano indicated to
Ambassador December 11 that identifying the next DDG for
Safety and Security from a "responsible developed country" is
a priority. He added that the eventual successor to Nuclear
Energy DDG Sokolov would be another Russian, as reported in
ref C para 5.

5. (SBU) Amano's first formal move signals that he indeed
will take Agency management in a direction we favor. Having
told A/S Brimmer it was an important signal that he, coming
from an industrialized country, have a "developing country"
national as chef de cabinet, Amano has offered the position
to Argentine diplomat Rafael Grossi, whom Amano has known ten
years. Embassy Buenos Aires has shared with us its positive
assessment of Grossi, a former aide to OPCW Executive
Director Rogelio Pfirter; Grossi was active in Vienna when
Pfirter himself was considering a run for DG. Grossi is
expected on board after the first of the year. Amano intends
that Grossi focus on diplomacy and coordination between the
Secretariat and Member States, not on daily operations.

6. (SBU) As previously reported, Amano brought one Japanese
diplomat from Tokyo to serve as his Special Assistant for
Management. Mission interactions thus far with the new
incumbent, Satoshi Suzuki, have been business-like and
effective. Amano said in recent meetings with U/S Tauscher
and A/S Brimmer that Suzuki would be his person to initiate
action and coordination in the Secretariat. Suzuki,
meanwhile, tells us his most important initial role will be
helping Amano to understand the institutional back story on
decisions that are recommended to him. Separately, Mission
has learned of another secondment from Japanese diplomatic
ranks: our close contact on IAEA resource and management
issues, Japanese Mission Second Secretary Shota Kamishima,
will be attached to the Verification and Security Policy
Coordination Office in EXPO starting in mid-December.

7. (SBU) With Amano in Africa this week we expect no further
announcements. However, prior indications from the DG and
those around him -- that the Safety/Security DDG position
would turn over first -- appear to be borne out in his
volunteering of detailed thinking on the matter to the
Ambassador in their December 11 telcon. (Comment: Amano's
characterization that the next incumbent should come from a
"responsible developed country," consistent with his early
September remark to the Ambassador on this issue, could be
code for "France." End Comment). The two current
Secretariat officials most talked about for the job in the
halls of the Agency are Philippe Jamet (FR), Director of the
Division of Nuclear Installation Safety, and Khammar Mrabit
(Morocco), Head of Safety and Security Coordination. Msnoffs
have enjoyed a frank and productive relationship with Mrabit
for several years. As reported ref C, each could
theoretically get a chance to serve as Acting DDG (in
rotation with two other colleagues) if a gap were to ensue.
Amano has not expressed himself to us on this level of
operational detail, and we would not expect him to do so
until making a public announcement of Taniguchi's departure.

8. (SBU) Comment: Two weeks into his tenure, DG Amano is in
the phase of receiving introductory briefings from each
department and becoming acquainted with the bureaucratic
levers by which to steer the "aircraft carrier" that is the
IAEA Secretariat. DCM's further conversation with Special
Assistant Suzuki on December 15 affirmed our expectation that
Amano will move not dramatically but deliberately to examine
each senior personnel move and prepare his choices
thoroughly, conscious of the various political lenses through
which leading Member States and groups will assess each
appointment. End Comment.


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