IAEA Board of Governors: Technical Cooperation Report for 2014

U.S. Statement as delivered by Ambassador Laura E. Kennedy

Thank you Madam Chairperson,

First, let me join others and express our appreciation for DDG Kwaku Aning’s tireless efforts to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the TC Program.  When I think of your time as DDG for TC, as well as your previous stellar jobs, including as Secretary of the Policy Making Organs, I particularly recall your sustained campaign to improve access to radiotherapy and your work to get the IAEA into the fight against Ebola.  DDG Aning is the model of an international civil servant that we should all seek to emulate – wise, even-handed and passionate about your work.  We wish you the very best in your future endeavors and look forward to your impact in other arenas and look forward to working together and seeing you again very soon.

Let me continue by thanking the Secretariat for preparing the Technical Cooperation (TC) Annual Report for 2014.  The TC Program is fundamental to the IAEA’s role in promoting access to the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy in both power and non-power applications.  The program makes unique and important contributions to international development goals while ensuring that appropriate safety and security guidance are incorporated into all TC projects, and that these projects do not further any military purpose.  This enables the fullest possible cooperation to expand the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy and technology.  I would also like to applaud the Director General for selecting the safe and sustainable management of radioactive waste as a key focus for technical cooperation, starting with the Scientific Forum last year.  We will, of course, support your work in this important area and in other important disciplines such as the industrial applications of radiation technology.

We give high priority to funding the IAEA’s technical cooperation program and related programs.  Since 2010, we have provided approximately 191 million dollars to these programs, including nearly 109 million dollars to the TCF, 50 million dollars to the Peaceful Uses Initiative, and 32 million dollars in in-kind support including training, fellowships, cost-free experts, and other technical support.

We have consistently encouraged other Member States to pay their full share of the TCF target.  We also encourage Member States that participate in the TC program to make timely payment of their National Participation Costs.  As in all aspects of the Agency’s work, the TC Department cannot fulfill its role without predictable and stable resources.

At the recent NPT Review Conference, the United States was pleased to announce an additional commitment of 50 million dollars to the Peaceful Uses Initiative over the next five years and to learn that several other countries are planning to provide  generous new support to the Initiative, including at least one country for the first time.  We urge all Member States and organizations in a position to do so to join in supporting this flexible funding mechanism, which advances global development while complementing the TCF.

It is also important to ensure that the TC Program is implemented efficiently and effectively to maximize the benefit to Member States.   We strongly encourage the Agency to continue ensuring that nuclear safety, security, and safeguards are key factors in all technical cooperation projects.  We urge the Department to focus efforts to implement the IAEA’s safety requirements, and to provide support to Member States to enhance national nuclear security measures.  It should build on the strengths of the Agency in areas where nuclear techniques offer comparative advantages to other sources of clean energy.  We commend the Agency’s effort to provide training for TC stakeholders in using the Logical Framework Approach methodology to increase TC programme effectiveness and efficiency.

Also central to these efforts are the Country Program Frameworks (CPFs), which define priority development needs and interests that can be supported through TC activities, and the Revised Supplementary Agreements (RSAs), which are required for participation in the TC Program.  We commend the Agency’s effort that led to 13 new CPFs signed in 2014, and welcome the fact that 124 states now have Revised Supplementary Agreements in place.  We encourage further efforts from those states that have not yet agreed to a CPF or concluded an RSA as soon as possible.

The United States also welcomes the IAEA’s efforts to promote gender equality throughout the TC Program.  We note with concern that female participation in TC activities slightly declined from the 2013 figure.  We encourage the Secretariat to continue its efforts to ensure gender balance, consulting with participants in regional agreements as appropriate, and we urge all Member States to work with the Secretariat to increase the number of women participating in the TC Program.  Member States themselves should lead in encouraging, identifying, and recruiting qualified female participants.

We welcome the Agency’s efforts to augment the funding streams in support of the program, including by building new partnerships within the UN system, between Member States, and with NGOs and the private sector.  We commend the Agency for participating actively in the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda, to which the Agency’s unique capabilities can make very valuable contributions.

We recognize the importance of stakeholder engagement in response to global challenges for a sustainable future.  We therefore encourage the exchange of knowledge in the use of nuclear technologies, in particular between scientists and policy-makers.  We also encourage outreach that brings attention to the many success stories about the applications of nuclear science and technology that have benefited policy and socio-economic development in Member States.

The U. S. strongly commends the Secretariat for its rapid response to the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in Africa.  To advance these efforts, the U. S. provided funds amounting to one million dollars, which included PUI funds and other extra-budgetary contributions, underscoring the importance we attach to the IAEA’s contribution to global efforts to improve human health.  We also applaud efforts by the Agency and the TC Department, including PACT, to improve access to life-saving radiotherapy treatment and to engage with the World Health Organization and other relevant international organizations to develop a comprehensive approach to cancer control.

With this we take note of the Technical Cooperation Report for 2014 and request that it be transmitted to the General Conference.

Thank you.