IAEA TACC, Agenda Item 2 – Technical Cooperation: The Agency’s Proposed Program for 2021
As delivered by Alternate Permanent Representative Leslie M. Hayden
IAEA Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee Meeting
Vienna, Austria, November 16, 2020
Thank you, Madam Chair.
The United States welcomes the Director General’s report on the Agency’s Proposed Technical Cooperation Program for 2021, as contained in document GOV/2020/44. The report effectively summarizes how the Agency provides technical cooperation in support of development around the world. We commend the Department of Technical Cooperation in cooperation with all Agency departments for its work with Member States to implement the TC Program. We urge continued results-based management and improved transparency of TC projects to share widely the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, science, and technology.
We commend the many Member States that provide voluntary contributions to support the IAEA’s technical cooperation activities. In 2020, the United States contributed over $23 million to the Technical Cooperation Fund, over $10 million to the Peaceful Uses Initiative, and made considerable in-kind contributions to support training, fellowships, and cost-free experts. We encourage other Member States to meet their TCF targets and National Participation Costs in full and on time. We also encourage those in a position to do so to contribute to voluntary funding mechanisms such as the PUI. The PUI is a valuable mechanism that provides Member States with the flexibility to respond to urgent needs as they arise.
We also encourage the Agency to ensure that the countries most in need are benefitting from the Agency’s Technical Cooperation Program, in particular the Least Developed Countries. We note the special challenges facing LDCs and the continued importance of giving due consideration to LDC needs when designing TC projects and allocating core funds. We note favorably that every IAEA Member State has a right to benefit from the Technical Cooperation Program. But, we note also that higher-income states could make more TCF resources available for others, including LDCs, by self-financing their participation in the TC Program via the government cost sharing mechanism. We urge higher-income states to take this approach.
Finally, the United States wishes to encourage the continued progress by the Secretariat in promoting the cross-disciplinary review of TC projects by the Department of Safeguards and the Department of Safety and Security. Further, we continue to prioritize the promotion of Country Program Frameworks as a key tool for strategic planning and long-term capacity building and sustainability. We strongly encourage the Secretariat to continue to strengthen results-based management of TC projects, and in particular, consider identifying additional metrics—beyond the implementation rate—that can further demonstrate the efficacy of IAEA programs. These metrics would allow the Agency to more completely assess and document the tangible results and progress towards national development goals achieved as a result of the IAEA’s TC Program. We stand ready to assist the Secretariat in this regard.
With these comments, the United States is pleased to join consensus in recommending that the TACC send the proposed TC Program for 2021 to the Board for its approval and take the additional actions as recommended in GOV/2020/44.
Thank you, Madam Chair.