IAEA BoG – U.S. on the Technical Cooperation Report for 2019

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Agenda Item 3: Strengthening the Agency’s Technical Cooperation Activities | Technical Cooperation Report for 2019

U.S. statement as delivered by Ambassador Jackie Wolcott
Vienna, Austria, June 16, 2020

Madam Chair, the United States thanks the Secretariat for preparing the Technical Cooperation Report for 2019, which provides many examples of how the Agency’s work is critically important to Member States and promotes the benefits of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, science and technology to all Members States through cooperation.

The United States is proud to be the leading individual contributor to IAEA Technical Cooperation activities. Since 2010, we have provided voluntary, extra-budgetary contributions totaling more than $423 million to promote peaceful nuclear activities through the Agency. This includes over $223 million to the Technical Cooperation Fund and over $110 million to the Peaceful Uses Initiative, which exceeds the pledges we made in 2010 and 2015 to provide $10 million a year for ten years. We have also provided significant in-kind contributions through training and direct technical assistance to the IAEA and its Member States. Our voluntary funding has contributed to TC projects and activities that help people around the world in fields as diverse as human and animal health, water resource management, public safety, nuclear power infrastructure development, patient and worker radiation safety, agricultural productivity, regulatory capacity-building, and food security. We have also made significant financial contributions to renovating the physical infrastructure that supports these TC program activities, including the aptly named and recently opened Yukiya Amano Laboratories.

We commend all Member States that provided extrabudgetary resources in support of TC activities in 2019. We encourage other Member States to meet their TCF targets and National Participation Costs, and provide the funds on time, which is crucial to assure the required funding for the TC Program. For those countries in a position to be even more generous, we further encourage contributions to voluntary funding mechanisms such as the PUI that enable the IAEA to fund additional projects and to respond quickly to urgent Member State needs.

We urge all Member States in a financial position to do so to refrain from accepting Technical Cooperation assistance in order to make sure that assistance available to those countries that would most benefit. We strongly urge higher-income states and those with advanced nuclear programs to take this approach and join the United States and other countries in making a pledge not to draw on the TC Fund and instead self-finance any participation in the TC Program.

Such a pledge would enable the Agency to give greater attention to the needs of Least Developed Countries. We encourage the Secretariat to ensure a higher percentage of the TCF is allocated to LDCs, possibly by funding more LDC national proposals with the TCF in the 2022-2023 TC Program cycle, rather than allowing these proposals to go to Footnote A. We support the Agency’s efforts to promote human resource and institutional capacity to strengthen participation by LDCs in the TC Program. We also encourage stronger efforts to build understanding, address public perceptions and demystify nuclear science and technology to enable the international community to share more widely the benefits of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

We note with satisfaction that an additional 25 countries have developed Country Program Frameworks, for a total of 110 countries with these important strategic planning documents guiding TC activities. The Agency’s internal auditor has emphasized CPFs as a critical tool in the formulation of a comprehensive outcome monitoring framework for the TC Program. As always, we continue to strongly encourage greater coordination between the Agency’s Departments of Technical Cooperation, Nuclear Sciences and Applications, Nuclear Energy, and Nuclear Safety and Security on the planning, implementation and monitoring of projects within the TC Program.

We welcome the progress made in strengthening the collaboration between the Division of the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy and other Agency divisions by streamlining PACT activities into TCP design and implementation. We encourage PACT’s continued efforts to coordinate with other key international partners in cancer control to improve the planning and delivery of joint activities and ensure work among all UN and development partners is complementary. We applaud the program for achieving its milestone of 100 imPACT reviews in 2019.

Finally, we commend the report for specifically emphasizing the importance of incorporating gender equality indicators into planning, monitoring and evaluation guidelines for TC projects.

Madam Chair, with these comments, we join consensus in taking note of the TC Report for 2019 and in requesting that it be transmitted to the General Conference.

Thank you, Madam Chair.