New Delhi: Mohammad ElBaradei, Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has been chosen for the 2008 Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development.
The International Jury of the Prize, at a recent meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, decided to confer the honour on ElBaradei for “his impassioned opposition to the use of nuclear energy for military purposes and his steadfast espousal of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, sustained over many years”.
“As Director General of the IAEA in Vienna, ElBaradei has been outspoken on nuclear proliferation and international security issues,” a statement from the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust, which gives away the Prize, said.
He has led the IAEA in carving out an independent approach free from bias and reflective of a wider balanced perspective in tune with today’s world, it said.
ElBaradei played an important role in India clinching the Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA, a prerequisite for New Delhi’s re-entry in international nuclear commerce.
A lawyer by training, ElBaradei began his career in the Egyptian Diplomatic Service in 1964 and served in the UN both in New York and Geneva.
Between 1974 and 1978, he was a Special Assitant to the Foreign Minister of Egypt and since then has been participating in the activities of international organisations within and outside the UN systems.
ElBaradei has held his present position at the IAEA since 1997, having been re-appointed for a third term in September 2005.