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Topnews, Statements

12. June 2017

STATEMENT BY DR JOHNNY THABO PITSWANE, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 12 JUNE 2017, VIENNA

AGENDA ITEM 5:   REPORT OF THE PROGRAMME AND BUDGET COMMITTEE

Chairperson,

South Africa would like to extend its gratitude to the Co-Chairs of the Working Group on the Regular Budget and the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF) Targets for 2018-2019, the Ambassador of Brazil, His Excellency Mr Marcel Fortuna Biato, and the Ambassador of Denmark, Her Excellency Ms Liselotte Plesner, for the skilful manner in which they guided our budget negotiations.

My delegation commends the Co-Chairs and DDG Mary Alice Hayward and her team for the professional manner in which you have addressed the concerns of all Member States, striving at all times to assist Member States in maintaining the unity and the spirit of consensus which has been the defining characteristic of decision-making in the IAEA.

My delegation associates itself with the statements delivered by the African Group and G77and China, respectively.  We would like to make the following remarks in our national capacity.

Chairperson

It is our view that the proposed budget put forward by the Co-Chairs of the Working on the Regular Budget and the TCF Targets for 2018-2019, does not adequately satisfy the wishes of all Member States, including my own. We believe that there is a need to urgently close the gap between the promotional and non-promotional activities of the Agency. Accordingly, South Africa would have preferred a more developmental-orientated budget in response to the urgent needs of developing countries, including the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

However, we appreciate that given the financial constraints confronting all of us, the regular budget and TCF targets before us represent the best result that we could achieve under the circumstances, in ensuring that we advance the Agency’s motto of “Atoms for Peace and Development”.  It is therefore against this background that South Africa is joining consensus to approve the proposal by the Co-Chairs.

Chairperson

In going forward, South Africa wishes to remind Member States that in future negotiations, there is a need to ensure the implementation of the Board’s decisions, in addition to General Conference resolutions, particularly that increases of TCF targets are proportionate to those in the Regular Budget. As part of this process, South Africa believes that the Indicative Planning Figures (IPFs) for the 2020-2021 biennium, should be taken as the starting point for the TCF targets.

With these remarks, my delegation takes note of the Report of the Programme and Budget Committee as contained in document GOV/2017/25

Thank you, Chairperson

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