Statement to the IAEA Board of Governors: Technical Cooperation Report for 2013

U.S. Statement as delivered by Ambassador Macmanus

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

I would like to begin by thanking the Secretariat for preparing the annualTechnical Cooperation Report for 2013.  The Technical Cooperation (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, and makes unique and important contributions to international development goals.

The United States fully supports the Agency’s efforts to ensure that appropriate safety and security standards 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.

Mr. Chairman,

The United States commends the Secretariat for its focus on a sustainable marine environment, particularly given the implications marine pollution, ocean acidification, and climate change may have for marine ecosystems and the human communities that depend on marine resources.  To highlight these issues, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will host the “Our Ocean” international conference in Washington, D.C., on June 16 and 17, 2014.  This conference will focus on marine pollution, ocean acidification, and sustainable fisheries, and the need for cooperative actions to protect the world’s oceans.  At the conference, the United States will highlight the role of the IAEA and our continuing commitment to address these issues through our contributions to the Peaceful Uses Initiative.  We warmly welcome the participation of the IAEA’s representative, Mr. David Osborn, Director of the IAEA Environment Laboratories.

Mr. Chairman,

The United States gives great priority to funding the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Program and related activities.  Since 2010, we have provided approximately $148 million to these programs, including $86 million to the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF), $41 million to the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), and $21 million 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 TCF target contributions, and we welcome the resulting increase in the rate of attainment to 92.8 percent.  We also encourage Member States that participate in the TC Program to make timely payment of National Participation Costs.

We continue to emphasize that the PUI supplements and in no way replaces the traditional mechanism of support provided by the TCF.  We appreciate the extrabudgetary and in-kind contributions of 17 other Member States and the European Union, which total roughly $26 million to date.

Mr. Chairman,

It is important to ensure that the TC Program is implemented efficiently and effectively to maximize the benefit to Member States.  It should build on the strengths of the Agency and areas where nuclear techniques offer comparative advantages or important complementary benefits to non-nuclear techniques.  We encourage more emphasis in providing training for TC stakeholders in using the Logical Framework Approach methodology and results-based management in order to increase TC Program effectiveness and efficiency.  We support TC-developed mechanisms to assess the quality of projects and emphasize outcomes in future project planning.

Also central to these efforts are the Country Program Frameworks, which define priority development needs and interests that can be supported through TC activities, and the Revised Supplementary Agreements, which are required for participation in the TC Program.

The United States welcomes the IAEA’s efforts to promote gender equality through the TC Program.  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.

Mr. Chairman,

We welcome the Agency’s efforts to seek creative funding streams in support of the program, including by seeking to build new partnerships within the UN system and between Member States and NGOs.  We also urge the IAEA to participate actively in the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda, for which the Agency has unique capabilities and valuable contributions to make.

With these comments, my delegation takes note of the Technical Cooperation Report for 2013 and requests that it be transmitted to the General Conference.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.