IAEA Technical Cooperation

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, June 7- 11, 2010 Agenda Item 4: Technical Cooperation Report for 2009

U.S. Statement

Ambassador Glyn Davies

Permanent Representative of the United States to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Office in Vienna

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation thanks the Secretariat for its preparation of the 2009 Technical Cooperation Annual Report and, in particular, thanks Deputy Director General Cetto for her introduction of the document.  We also express our gratitude to Ambassador Ludeking for his successful chairmanship of the Working Group on the RBM project.

The United States supports the Technical Cooperation (TC) program’s role in transferring nuclear and related technologies for peaceful uses to countries throughout the world and in promoting tangible socio-economic results for the achievement of the major sustainable development priorities of each country while ensuring safety, security, and nonproliferation.

As Secretary Clinton pledged before the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, and the Director General alluded to in his statement opening our meeting yesterday, the United States will make an additional commitment of 50 million dollars over the next five years for a new IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative.   We hope other partners will match this contribution with an additional 50 million dollars.   These funds will be directed towards IAEA activities related to cancer treatment and infectious diseases, food and water security, and the development of nuclear power infrastructure.  These funds will be distributed through relevant parts of the IAEA, including the Department of Nuclear Energy, the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, and the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy, in addition to the Department of Technical Cooperation.

The U.S. pledge of voluntary contributions to the IAEA for 2010 includes this Peaceful Uses Initiative pledge of five million dollars from the Department of State and five million dollars from the Department of Energy, which is in addition to our full pledge of 21 million dollars for the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF) target contributions.  Again, we encourage our international partners to join us in this effort to significantly expand access to these peaceful applications of nuclear energy.

With all of these resources, we anticipate that the TC program will continue to improve coordination, planning, and performance monitoring, in addition to reporting and following-up on recommendations.  This includes better transparency of recipients’ goals, strengthening project design, improved accountability for project outcomes, as well as better management of funds and measurement of project impact.  In this regard, we support the effort to move toward results-based management (RBM).  RBM is used by the TC program, by other Agency programs, and by other development cooperation agencies.  We hope that Member States support the RBM project INT/0/085, and we are pleased an agreement on the revised project proposal has been reached so that Member States that requested this assistance in 2009 could finally move forward with the project.

Mr. Chairman,

The United States recognizes that national nuclear and other entities, including the National Liaison Officers, are important partners in the implementation of the TC program in Member States for achieving national development goals.  We would like to encourage the Secretariat to coordinate TC activities with a team that involves National Liaison Officers in consultations regarding the Country Program Frameworks.

We would also suggest the Secretariat establish a process for tracking past TC project fellows so it knows where and how the knowledge and expertise they have obtained is being applied.  We believe this would highlight the value of the TC projects, as well as provide human-resource capacity information for managing future TC projects, thereby improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the program.

 The United States appreciates that a greater number of Member States have paid their full target contribution to the 2009 TCF.  With regard to the payment of National Participation Costs (NPCs), we are pleased that all 30 Member States that had not paid the NPCs by the end of the first quarter of 2009 were able to pay sufficient NPCs by the end of 2009 to make their new projects operational.  We encourage Member States to continue to make timely payments.

As we seek to increase resources for the many opportunities which the Agency offers in the peaceful applications of nuclear energy, we note that in TC, for 2009 program disbursements, the total amount of funding received was 112.2 million dollars of which only 85.4 million dollars was disbursed.  With regard to the unobligated balance, the United States is concerned that the TCF continues to accept pledges in nonconvertible currencies that cannot be utilized, as well as difficult-to-use currencies.  As stated in the 2009 report, the fund carried the equivalent of over 13 million dollars in difficult-to-use currencies and  a much lesser amount in nonconvertible currencies.  These funds, if handled differently, could contribute to additional resources for use in implementing TC projects.

Mr. Chairman,

The United States strongly supports the Agency’s assistance to Member States for the introduction of nuclear power in new countries, especially those aspects involving nuclear safety and security.  We also welcome safety and security cooperation that supports nuclear applications in human health, medical isotopes, and the infrastructure of nuclear power.  To that end, we emphasize the importance of continued close coordination between the Departments of Technical Cooperation, Nuclear Safety and Security, and Nuclear Energy.    We encourage further TC activity in the areas of nuclear safety, especially in Africa where only nine percent of activities are in this area.

The United States would like to express appreciation for the work of the IAEA on the repatriation of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) fuel to the country of origin, collaboration with research reactor operating organizations, and other supporting activities that reduce the use of HEU fuel.  We hope the IAEA will highlight the nonproliferation importance of these efforts.

With these comments, Mr. Chairman, my delegation takes note of the 2009 TC Annual Report.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.