U.S. Statement as delivered by U.S. Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Nicole Shampaine
Vienna, May 7, 2018
The United States thanks the Office of Internal Oversight Services for its Internal Audit of the Agency’s practices. We would like to direct our attention to particular areas that have been identified for improvement.
On Travel Management, we applaud efforts to reduce the costs of travel for Agency staff and Member States experts. While we recognize the unique challenges that the IAEA faces in handling such a heavy load of internal and external travelers, we urge the Secretariat to take into account best practices in other international agencies to ensure the most cost-effective and efficient means of travel.
With regards to the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy, we thank the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) for its report. The United States strongly supports the IAEA’s role in enhancing Member States’ capacity to fight cancer. We encourage the Secretariat to use the OIOS results to assess and strengthen the Agency’s work in the cancer field. We urge the Agency to develop plans and strategies for effectively implementing the defined long-term goals of the PACT program. Such plans should include how the cancer diagnosis and treatment expertise of Member States can be best put to use to help benefit those Member States lacking such expertise. We see the value in a comprehensive evaluation of a country’s cancer control program and hope that imPACT missions can continue in a productive way. Going forward, we encourage the IAEA to include experts with critical subject matter and regional expertise in imPACT missions, and to ensure availability and transparency of the objectives, findings, and results of the missions. It is not enough to write a report. The IAEA should work with member states to make results available to the international community, including potential donors. This will benefit countries that need assistance in cancer care. We have also highlighted the need for the IAEA to take a “one house” approach to cancer control and we urge the Secretariat to emphasize this approach in coordinating its PACT activities.
We also welcome the actions taken by the Secretariat so far on Gender Mainstreaming, including efforts to establish of a position with responsibility over gender mainstreaming. At the same time, the United States believes that more effective gender parity policies are required to make meaningful progress toward the goal of gender equity. We note that while the IAEA Statute states that “securing employees of the highest standards” is the “paramount consideration,” this should not preclude taking the goal of gender equity into account when choosing among qualified candidates for staff positions. The Policy Making Bodies have clearly stated that gender mainstreaming is a priority, and the Agency should pursue more effective measures to achieve it. Another benefit of gender mainstreaming in agency programs is that it can help raise awareness of the Agency’s work and build expertise in a larger segment of the population, which in the long run can create a larger and more diverse applicant pool for agency positions. For all of these reasons, we encourage the Agency to vigorously pursue all aspects of gender mainstreaming.
The United States also encourages the Secretariat to publish the annual internal audit activity report on the Agency’s publicly available website, as it does with its external audit reports. Public disclosure of these annual reports is a best practice followed by the UN, UN funds and programs, and the specialized agencies across the UN system. We believe that public disclosure of internal audit activity reports provides insight into organizations’ operations that are funded by public resources and enhances the credibility of the Agency by demonstrating its firm commitment to transparency, accountability, and proactively addressing management challenges.
With these comments, the United States takes note of the Internal Audit Activity and Program Evaluation Reports for 2017.
Thank you, Chair.