Reducing the significance of nuclear arms in international politics is the purpose of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations institute of which Dr. ElBaradei has been the Director General since 1997. Dr. ElBaradei is firmly dedicated to the peaceful application of nuclear energy. He was born in 1942, in Cairo, Egypt, as the son of Mostafa ElBaradei, a prominent lawyer. After he gained a Bachelor’s degree in Law at the University of Cairo, he began his career as a member of the Egyptian Diplomatic Service in 1964. In this function, he served the Permanent Missions of Egypt to the United Nations in New York and Geneva, which was entrusted with political, legal and arms control matters. In 1974 he gained a Doctorate in International Law at New York University’s School of Law. From 1974 to 1978 Dr. ElBaradei was a special assistant to the Foreign Minister of Egypt. In 1980 he joined the United Nations where he was in charge of the International Law Program at the UN Institute for Training and Research. In 1984 he became a senior staff member of the IAEA, where he served as Legal Adviser and Assistant Director General for External Relations until he was appointed to the office of Director General on 1 December 1997. He is now serving his third term.