ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- The United Arab Emirates chose former International Atomic Energy Agency chief Hans Blix to be chairman of a panel to oversee an Emirati nuclear energy program.
Blix, a Swedish diplomat, leads a nine-member team forming the International Advisory Board to oversee the establishment of a $40.8 billion civilian nuclear energy program, the official Wakalat Anba'a al-Emarat news agency reports.
The former Swiss foreign minister served as director general of the IAEA for 17 years ending in 1997. He served as the head of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission from 2000-03. UNSCOM lead an effort in 2002 to search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The board will issue biannual regular reports to the Emiratis on potential areas of improvement in the nuclear energy effort. The United Arab Emirates' government will then make the reports public in order to provide domestic and international parties to monitor the performance of the program, WAM said.
The IAB has its first regular meeting later this month.