Report of the Working Group on Financing the Agency’s Activities
U.S. Statement as delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Ambassador Laura Kennedy
Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
The U.S. welcomes the consensus report of the Working Group on Financing the Agency’s Activities that reflects the shared commitment of Member States to ensure that the Agency has the appropriate resources to fulfill its mandate, including for the TC Program.
We are delighted that all Member States approached the Working Group in a spirit of learning and productive exchange. We would like to particularly commend the work and leadership of our co-chairs, Ambassador Paradas of France and Ambassador Oyugi of Kenya, whose dedication and astute guidance fostered a collegial and constructive spirit. I also want to thank the Secretariat and its staff for their patience in providing briefings.
The U.S. recognizes that the report provides many excellent recommendations that promise to improve the process of ensuring the Agency has the appropriate resources. Of note, we welcome and look forward to the implementation of:
- Initiatives to institutionalize the best aspects of the Working Group, through a strengthened PBC and TACC, ensuring Member States not only better understand the program and budget, but also have a forum for continued exchange on these important issues, including providing guidance on the development and implementation of the TCP.
- The recommendation to develop within existing resources a framework for additional fundraising to broaden the base of resources for the work of the Agency.
- A commitment to strengthen the links between the TCP and the Millennium Development Goals and their follow-on, which will support greater contributions from development assistance linked funds.
- The strengthening of outcome monitoring – for TC as well as for the Regular Budget Program. This will provide important assurances that Agency activities are producing the maximum benefits for its stakeholders, giving needed confidence to contributors to maintain or increase their support to Agency programs.
This report is noteworthy when we consider the starting point of the discussions, but its text does not capture all of the truly remarkable progress made in terms of building understanding of the Agency’s program and budget process and of our respective perspectives on these key issues. For our part, we will continue to take into account all relevant factors in negotiation of TC funding levels, including the changes in the level of the regular operational budget. Although some differences remain in our interpretations of the 2009 Board decision, this improved understanding and our proven cooperation on these difficult budget issues will be critical looking ahead to the 2016-17 biennium.
We would like to use this opportunity to reiterate our strong support for TC and highlight the great progress that has been made. Since 2009, U.S. voluntary contributions to support IAEA TC activities have grown from about $27.7 million in 2009 to about $36.3 million in 2014 – a 31% increase. The U.S. remains the single largest contributor to the TCF, having provided nearly $130 million since 2009. We have also contributed over $50 million to the IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative since 2010, in addition to providing extra-budgetary funding to host technical cooperation training courses, sponsor training fellowships, and provide cost-free expertise to the Agency and Member States.
So, Mr. Chairman, the United States supports the recommendations of the Report of the Working Group.