Yukiya Amano, who has headed up the International Atomic Energy Agency for the past 10 years, passed away last week.

The Japanese national and former diplomat took over the IAEA’s director general role in 2009. He was a strong opponent of nuclear proliferation and played a role in the tense negotiations with Iran, an agreement forged during the US Obama Administration and later rejected by President Trump.

Only recently he had decided to step down from his role, and wrote the following statement to its board of governors: “During the past decade, the Agency delivered concrete results to achieve the objective of ‘Atoms for Peace and Development’, thanks to the support of Member States and the dedication of Agency staff,” read a statement which announced Amano’s decision to step down.  I am very proud of our achievements.”

Amano was a longtime nuclear official within the Japanese government when, in 2005, he was appointed as the nation’s ambassador to the IAEA. Four years later, he succeeded Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei as director general.