IAEA BoG – U.S. on the ZODIAC Project

Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action (ZODIAC) logo (IAEA)

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Agenda Item 3: Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action (ZODIAC) Project, Early Detection and Global Response – Report by the Director General 2020

U.S. statement as delivered by Ambassador Jackie Wolcott
Vienna, Austria, September 14, 2020

Madam Chair,

The United States welcomes the updates from the Director General regarding the development of and plans to implement the ZODIAC initiative. This project builds on the successes of the COVID-19 Technical Cooperation Project and VETLAB Network, both of which the United States has proudly supported with extrabudgetary funding. Since 2010, the United States has provided strong support to the IAEA’s work that contributes to international efforts to prevent, detect and control the outbreak of zoonotic diseases, and we remain ready to continue that support.

The ZODIAC project aims to integrate approaches to identify, monitor, trace and establish early detection of zoonotic disease pathogens and to build Member States’ capacity to participate in global intervention and response to potential outbreaks. We believe this project is a strong example of the benefits of peaceful uses of nuclear and nuclear-derived science and technology. We look forward to further learning how the IAEA, as the leader in nuclear and nuclear-derived techniques, will effectively coordinate with others, including those that may also use non-nuclear techniques, for optimizing effective global surveillance of outbreaks, such as the one we are now living through.

This is a time of increasingly tight budgets and we note there are many demands on the Agency’s expertise. We encourage the DG and the Secretariat to consider how the Agency can be most effective provide support to its Member States when designing ZODIAC, and also consider where can join with other organizations or national and regional efforts to achieve shared goals through complementary approaches. We also appreciate the Director General and the Secretariat’s attentions to build and promote new partnerships with other public and private entities already working in this field and with a broad range of potential donors, including the private sector, as part of the resource mobilization strategy for this project.

The United States welcomes the opportunity to support the IAEA in its efforts to plan and implement the ZODIAC initiative. Therefore, the U.S. Government would like to announce an initial allocation of $500,000 from our Peaceful Uses Initiative fund plus the services of a cost-free expert to support the coordination and development of the ZODIAC initiative.

With that, the United States takes note of GOV/2020/37.

Thank you, Madam Chair.