U.S. Statement at IAEA Program and Budget Committee Meeting: Agenda Item 4

U.S. Statement as delivered by IAEA Counselor Keith Anderton

Vienna, May 7, 2018

 

Thank you, Chair.

We appreciate the efforts of the Secretariat to be responsive to concerns of Member States in presenting a draft budget update. At this time we would like to make some comments based on our general support for cost savings and efficiencies in support of the goal of zero nominal growth in international organization budgets.

The United States strongly supports the application of operational efficiencies identified by each department, as well as Agency-wide efficiencies identified by the Secretariat, to reduce the budget increase implied by the price adjustment. However, pursuit of efficiencies should not result in the defunding of core activities from the Regular Budget. Such measures would hamper the Agency’s ability to carry out its core mission and would set a very negative precedent for future budget discussions. This is particularly true in the second year of a two-year Programme where activities proposed for defunding were already approved and funded in the first year of the Programme. Budget Updates should respond to extraordinary and unexpected effects. They should not be a forum for renegotiating funding for core activities.

We would like to note that although the revised Draft Budget Update reduces the price adjustment in the original Draft Budget Update from 3.5 percent to 2.5 percent and overall Regular Budget Growth from 3.8 percent to 2.8 percent, the revised Draft Budget Update did not use the lower figures as the starting point for determining appropriate cost reductions requested by Member States. We therefore request that the Secretariat submit another revised Draft Budget Update prior to the June meeting of the Board of Governors which incorporates the lower figures as the starting point for Member States’ consideration of an overall budget envelope, including reductions achieved through the use of special measures. We would also like to request that the Secretariat identify the level of reductions from the 2.8 percent increase that would be necessary to achieve balance across departments, while avoiding defunding of core activities in any major program.

Thank you, Chair.