IAEA Budget

IAEA Program and Budget Committee Meeting, May 2010, Agenda Item 4

The Agency’s Budget Update for 2011

U.S. Statement as Delivered

Robert Wood
Deputy Permanent Representative

Mr. Chairman,

Yesterday, as we were engaged in PBC business, Secretary Clinton prepared to deliver her opening statement to the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York. In her remarks, she pledged my country’s commitment to nonproliferation, disarmament, and the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. In a dramatic gesture of support to this third pillar of the NPT, peaceful uses, Secretary Clinton announced a new, “Peaceful Uses Initiative,” which aims to raise $100 million dollars over the next five years to broaden the access to peaceful uses of nuclear energy in developing countries. Secretary Clinton pledged $50 Million dollars in U.S. money toward this effort and will work energetically with other states represented in this room to meet the full, $100 million target.

The funding announced by my government will significantly expand support for IAEA projects addressing energy and important humanitarian purposes, such as cancer treatment and fighting infectious diseases, food and water security, and the development of infrastructure for the safe, secure use of civil nuclear power.

We heard a lot yesterday about the importance of nuclear applications for development and the need to ensure the IAEA has sufficient resources for that pillar of its mandate. Clearly the U.S. agrees, as illustrated by Secretary Clinton’s new initiative and the nearly $200 million dollars we have contributed to the Technical Cooperation Fund over the past decade. We are proud of our long standing status as the largest contributor to not only the TCF, but also the Regular Budget. The United States is also strengthening bilateral technical cooperation agreements with more than 40 states, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. For 2011, my delegation has long reiterated our full support for the Secretariat’s proposal of 9.9 percent. Nothing has changed in our principled approach to the budget because global realities have not changed: Member State demands for IAEA services have increased on all fronts, and across all Major Programs. We support the Secretariat’s efforts to identify savings and efficiencies, but as the distinguished representative of Norway pointed out yesterday, this will take us only so far.

The United States would like to extend our appreciation to the Chair, Vice-Chair and the Secretariat for their ongoing efforts to facilitate discussions among member states on the 2011 budget.

The United States appreciates the effort made by Ambassador Rasi in proposing a way ahead on the Agency’s budget for 2011. We hope that we can have a constructive exchange on its merits and challenges.

For the 2011 budget, we continue to stress the importance of funding capital projects that were not adequately resourced in the 2010 budget, particularly ECAS, AIPS and the continuing process of bringing nuclear security into the Regular Budget.

On ECAS, the Board expressed its support for the Agency’s need “to provide independent and timely analysis of safeguards samples and to strengthen its independent analytical capability for safeguards.” The Safeguards Analytical Laboratory (SAL) is key to maintaining this capability. Generous support and extrabudgetary contributions have been made by a number of Member States, but it is incumbent on the Board to ensure regular budget funding for this core activity. Although we recognize the need for better communication from the Secretariat on planning and timelines, we are convinced that any delay in the execution of this project will result in greater costs to all of us in the end.

We also view the implementation of AIPS as another key initiative currently underway at the Agency. We are pleased that Plateau 1 is progressing toward completion, but believe it is important that Member States provide the funding needed to move on to the next phase of this project so as not to risk losing the knowledge base gained by the project team through its work on Plateau 1. Of equal importance are the cost implications that will result from delaying implementation of this project.

We are very pleased that a decision was reached to begin anchoring nuclear security in the regular budget in 2010 and we look forward to working toward an outcome that recognizes the importance of fulfilling the Agency’s mandate in this area. While we applaud Ambassador Rasi’s efforts to develop a consensus proposal, we are taken aback by the insufficient increase proposed for Nuclear Security. In our view, any increase of less than the Director General’s proposal for Nuclear Security decelerates the hard work we invested in last year’s budget agreement. More importantly, it denies the risks of terrorism, nuclear terrorism, and the IAEA’s role in supporting Member States and other institutions to confront these risks. Many of your heads of state have come to share our views on this issue and pledged their support at the highest levels.

In conclusion, an increase in funding must be accompanied by a renewed and transparent effort by the IAEA Secretariat to further improve its efficiency. IAEA has already made significant improvements, but must continue to seek every opportunity to develop a management culture that emphasizes accountability, a readiness to accept change, and effective coordination with other organizations.

In closing, the United States would like to extend our appreciation to you, Mr. Chairman, and the Secretariat for the ongoing efforts to facilitate discussions among Member States on the 2011 budget. We also appreciate the effort made by Ambassador Rasi and her staff in proposing a way ahead on the Agency’s budget for 2011. In deference to Ambassador Rasi’s wishes, we would hope to bring these discussions to a close as quickly as possible, with a view to reaching a favorable recommendation for approval at the June Board with an outcome that is satisfactory to all.

Thank You, Mr. Chairman