U.S. Statement – As Delivered by Ambassador Laura S.H. Holgate – Agenda Item 3 – TC Report of the Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee
Vienna, Austria, November 22, 2023
The United States continues to champion the IAEA’s provision of critical technical assistance that addresses the most pressing development needs of its Member States. It is in our collective interest to support and promote the broad range of applications of nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes that can help advance both climate and UN Sustainable Development Goals. I commend the leadership and staff of the Department of Technical Cooperation for their dedication in implementing the current Technical Cooperation Program and for their work with Member States to develop the program for the next biennium.
For over 60 years, the United States has led support for Agency activities to expand access to the benefits of nuclear science and technology for peaceful uses — consistent with the highest standards of safety, security, and nonproliferation. In 2023, we provided over 25 million dollars to the Technical Cooperation Fund, over 10 million dollars to the Peaceful Uses Initiative, and over 11 million dollars in additional extrabudgetary funds and in-kind support to IAEA peaceful uses activities.
We welcome the Director General’s announcement of the successful completion of longstanding resource mobilization efforts to modernize the nuclear applications laboratories in Seibersdorf. These and other IAEA labs in Vienna and Monaco underpin the Technical Cooperation Program. The United States was proud to contribute over 33 million euros toward this critical initiative and to stand alongside dozens of other contributors. We thank South Africa and Germany for their successful mobilization of significant resources toward these unique and vital capabilities.
The United States strongly supports IAEA efforts to coordinate with donors and relevant international institutions to advance sustainable development priorities. In this regard, we thank the IAEA for its active participation in the Sustained Dialogue on Peaceful Uses launched by the United States and United Kingdom last year. Thematic, regional workshops organized through this initiative bring together a broad range of stakeholders to identify new avenues of support for peaceful uses work and forge cooperation that can help address barriers to access.
The United States recognizes that efforts to tackle the climate crisis are more urgent than ever. We are convinced that nuclear power will play an important role in providing zero-carbon, reliable electricity in a way that promotes sustainable development while mitigating the effects of climate change. With this in mind, we acknowledge the Agency’s activities in supporting Member States to include nuclear power in their national energy mixes in a sustainable way that adheres to the highest standards of safety, security, and safeguards.
We also welcome the Agency’s work with the Food and Agriculture Organization to launch the new Atoms4Food initiative to uplift and amplify its work in climate-smart agriculture. We strongly support IAEA engagement in international activities such as COP28 to showcase how nuclear science and technology can help enhance food and water security and strengthen resilience to climate change.
We welcome the announcement of the Ministerial Conference on Technical Cooperation and Nuclear Sciences and Applications in November 2024 and look forward to supporting Finland and Ghana in their roles as co-chairs.
The United States appreciates the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) report of its evaluations in 2023 and its proposed work plan for 2024. We request the Secretariat implement OIOS recommendations for improved, results-based management, as well as transparency in project planning and implementation of the Technical Cooperation Program. We strongly support efforts to advance gender equality and gender mainstreaming in Agency programs and encourage continued leadership in this area.
With these comments, we would like to thank Mr. Shun Oshita from Japan for ably chairing the Friends of the Rapporteur group this year for the Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee and join consensus in approving the Committee’s recommendations.