U.S. Statement on IAEA Technical Cooperation

IAEA Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee Meeting

November 20-22, 2017

Agenda Item 2 Technical Cooperation: The Agency’s Proposed Program for 2018-2019

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

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

The United States commends the Department of Technical Cooperation, under Deputy Director General Yang’s leadership, for its work with Member States to develop new projects under the 2018-2019 Technical Cooperation Program, and to implement ongoing projects. The United States is pleased to provide strong support to the IAEA’s technical cooperation activities through the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF), the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), and other voluntary mechanisms that fund training, fellowships, and cost-free experts. This year alone we contributed nearly $24 million to the TCF and another $10.6 million to the PUI. We encourage other Member States to meet their TCF target shares and National Participation Costs (NPCs) on time and, if in a position to do so, to also contribute to the PUI. We commend the Member States that make additional extra-budgetary contributions, and urge the Agency to make every effort to mobilize further resources and expertise by strengthening its external partnerships. In line with the consensus on the 2018-2019 Program and Budget, the United States requests continuation of discussions aimed at strengthening the Due Account Mechanism so we can strengthen the TCF. In addition, we encourage the IAEA to continue its results-based management of TC projects and to introduce an outcome monitoring system for projects in the 2018-2019 program cycle in order to keep Member States informed of the results.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

The United States welcomes the recent “Report on the Implementation of Strategic Guidelines on Partnerships and Resource Mobilization.” It is clear that the IAEA and its Member States can reap real rewards from innovative partnerships. However, we recognize that more work must be done to make the partnership development process more efficient and effective. We support the Secretariat’s efforts to develop Agency-wide systems and tools in order to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive, and effective approach. We also welcome plans to train staff members and build their skills in establishing partnerships and resource mobilization.

 

We underscore that, as with other Agency activities, these mobilization efforts should be conducted in line with the principles of results-based management and, of course, with appropriate internal controls and effective oversight. We understand that resource mobilization is an intensive process for all involved parties. Nevertheless, we encourage the IAEA to take every opportunity to expand non-traditional partnerships as the returns can far outpace the investment, in our view. The United States stands ready to assist the Agency in this endeavor.

 

Mr. Chairman, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) face particular challenges and it is clear that nuclear science and technology can play an important role in supporting their socioeconomic development. It is important, therefore, for the Agency to continue to give due consideration to particular LDC needs and challenges when designing TC projects and allocating core funds. The United States also calls on the IAEA to continue to make every effort to promote gender equality in every aspect of the TC program, and to support the involvement of women as experts as well as participants when implementing TC projects.

 

The United States notes that 95 Member States currently have valid Country Program Framework (CPF) documents, and that 19 of these were signed in 2017. We encourage more Member States to develop strong Frameworks so that TC projects can better align with identified priorities. Additionally, we commend those Member States that have signed a Revised Supplementary Agreement Concerning the Provision of Technical Assistance by the IAEA. We encourage those Member States that have not signed such an agreement to do so.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

The United States wishes to take this opportunity to express its support for the efforts made by the Department of Safeguards and the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security to review TC projects to ensure they comply with relevant standards and requirements. The involvement of these departments in the TC process is essential to the successful promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We look forward to the conference scheduled for November 2018, which will focus on nuclear science, technologies, and applications for peaceful uses, and their delivery to Member States through the Agency’s TC program. We hope to actively participate in preparations for this conference and we encourage the – 5 – Secretariat to initiate consultations on the conference program with Member States as soon as possible. With these comments, the United States is pleased to join consensus in recommending that the Board of Governors approve the proposed Technical Cooperation Program for 2018-2019, as contained in IAEA document GOV/2017/45 with its addenda and supplements.

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.