U.S. on the Agency’s Proposed Program for 2020-2021

IAEA Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee Meeting

November 18-19, 2019

Agenda Item 2. Technical Cooperation: The Agency’s Proposed Program for 2020-2021

U.S. Statement as delivered by Alternate Permanent
Representative Keith Anderton

Madam Chair,

The United States welcomes the Acting Director General’s report on the Agency’s Proposed Technical Cooperation (TC) Program for 2020-2021, as contained in GOV/2019/47. The report summarizes effectively how the Agency provides technical cooperation in support of development around the world. We commend the Department of Technical Cooperation, working in conjunction with all Agency departments, for its work with Member States to develop new project proposals for 2020-2021 while implementing ongoing ones. We welcome the Agency’s continued work towards ensuring the benefits of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, science and technology are widely spread.

We commend the many Member States that provide voluntary contributions to support the IAEA’s TC activities. In 2019, the United States contributed over $23 million to the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF), $6 million to the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), and considerable in-kind contributions to support training, fellowships, and cost-free experts in support of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We encourage other Member States to meet their TCF targets and submit National Participation Costs on time, which, as noted in the Director General’s report, 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, which enable the IAEA to fund additional TC projects and to be flexible in responding to urgent Member State needs.

We encourage the Agency to ensure that benefits of technical cooperation reach the countries that need them the most, in particular, the Least Developed Countries or (LDCs). 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 encourage the IAEA to target TC project distributions that ensure a higher percentage of the TCF is allocated to and received by LDCs. To adjust the allocations, we encourage the IAEA to make efforts to fund more LDC national proposals with the TCF. We note favorably that every IAEA Member State has a right to benefit from the TC Program. That said, we also note also that higher-income states could make more TCF resources available for LDCs by self-financing their participation in the TC Program. We would, therefore, strongly urge higher-income states to take this approach and join the United States and other countries in making a pledge to self-finance participation in the TC Program.

In addition, we note that 94 Member States currently have valid Country Program Frameworks (CPF) documents and encourage more Member States to develop strong CPFs so that TC projects can be better aligned with identified priorities and outcomes monitored accordingly. We also note favorably the Board decision in GOV/2019/25 on the implementation of a strengthened Due Account Mechanism and look forward to future Secretariat reports on the application of these new measures.

Finally, the United States commends the work of the Department of Safeguards and the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security in reviewing TC projects to ensure they comply with relevant standards and requirements. This work enables the international community to share more widely the benefits of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

With these comments, the United States is pleased to join consensus in recommending that the TACC send the proposed TC Program for 2020-2021 to the Board for its approval.

Thank you, Madam Chair.