Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mohamed ElBaradei

Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei (Arabic: محمد مصطفى البرادعى; born June 17, 1942) is an Egyptian law scholar and diplomat. He was the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an inter-governmental organisation under the auspices of the United Nations, from December 1997 to November 2009. ElBaradei and the IAEA were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. ElBaradei was also an important figure in the 2011 Egyptian revolution which ousted the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Family and personal life
ElBaradei was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. He was one of five children of Mostafa ElBaradei, an attorney who headed the Egyptian Bar Association and often found himself at odds with the regime of President Gamal Abdel Nasser. ElBaradei's father was also a supporter of democratic rights in Egypt, supporting a free press and an independent judiciary.

ElBaradei is married to Aida El-Kachef, an early-childhood teacher. They have two children: a daughter, Laila, who is a lawyer living in London; and a son, Mostafa, who is an IT manager living in Cairo. They also have one granddaughter, Maya.

ElBaradei speaks Arabic, English, and French, and knows “enough German to get by, at least in Vienna.”

Early career
ElBaradei earned a bachelor's degree in law from the University of Cairo in 1962, a master's degree in international law at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, and a J.S.D. in International Law at the New York University School of Law in 1974.

His diplomatic career began in 1964 in the Ministry of External Affairs, where he served in the Permanent Missions of Egypt to the United Nations in New York and in Geneva, in charge of political, legal, and arms-control issues. From 1974 to 1978, he was a special assistant to the foreign minister. In 1980, he became a senior fellow in charge of the International Law Program at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. From 1981 to 1987, he was also an adjunct professor of international law at the New York University School of Law.

In 1984, ElBaradei became a senior staff member of the IAEA Secretariat, serving as the agency's legal adviser (1984 to 1993) and Assistant Director General for External Relations (1993 to 1997).

ElBaradei is currently a member of both the International Law Association and the American Society of International Law.

2005 Nobel Peace Prize
On October 7, 2005, ElBaradei and the IAEA were announced as joint recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize for their "efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy, for peaceful purposes, is used in the safest possible way." ElBaradei donated all of his winnings to building orphanages in Cairo. The IAEA's winnings are being spent to train scientists from developing countries to use nuclear techniques in combating cancer and malnutrition. ElBaradei is the fourth Egyptian to receive the Nobel Prize, following Anwar Sadat (1978 in Peace), Naguib Mahfouz (1988 in Literature), and Ahmed Zewail (1999 in Chemistry).

In his Nobel lecture, ElBaradei said that the changing landscape of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament may be defined by the emergence of an extensive black market in nuclear material and equipment, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and sensitive nuclear technology, and the stagnation in nuclear disarmament. To combat proliferation, ElBaradei has suggested keeping nuclear and radiological material out of the hands of extremist groups, tightening control over the operations for producing the nuclear material that could be used in weapons, and accelerating disarmament efforts. ElBaradei also stated that only one percent of the money spent to develop new weapons would be enough to feed the entire world and that, if we hope to escape self destruction, nuclear weapons should have no place in our collective conscience and no role in our security.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said that he was delighted that the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize had been awarded to the UN nuclear watchdog and its head, ElBaradei. "The secretary general congratulates him and the entire staff of the agency, past and present, on their contributions to global peace," a spokesman for Annan said.

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