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Topnews, Statements

11. May 2020

STATEMENT DELIVERED BY AMBASSADOR RAPULANE MOLEKANE, RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE/GOVERNOR OF SOUTH AFRICA, AT THE IAEA BOARD OF GOVERNORS PROGRAMME AND BUDGET COMMITTEE (PBC), 11 MAY 2020, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

AGENDA ITEM 4:THE 2019 INTERNAL AUDIT, MANAGEMENT SERVICES AND INVESTIGATIONS REPORT AND THE 2019 PROGRAMME EVALUATION REPORT

Madam Chair,

My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the Permanent Representative of Malaysia on behalf of the G77 and China. I would like to make the following remarks in my national capacity.

South Africa fully supports the OIOS programme evaluation activities. These are aimed at strengthening the Agency’s ability to ensure management efficiency and programme effectiveness, as well enhancing accountability and learning within the organisation.

We appreciate the continued independence of the Office of Internal Oversight Services, their work and reports thus far and hope that they maintain this high-level standard.

Madam Chair,

DDG Hayward,

South Africa is pleased to note that Management has accepted the OIOS audit recommendations and we look forward to receiving an update on the extent to which these recommendations have been implemented.

With regard to the summary of results of the 2019 Audit Plan, South Africa has taken note that the findings on a number of audit areas, including Audit of Management Arrangements for Technical Cooperation reflect a need improvement finding. We encourage the Secretariat to make efforts to address these areas and look forward to receiving updates on related improvements. My delegation requests the Secretariat, to ensure that the implementation of recommendations has no negative impact on the programmatic delivery of Technical Cooperation to Member States.

Turning to the 2019 Programme Evaluation Report, South Africa would like to make brief remarks on the reported Evaluation of the Agency’s Work in the Area of Nuclear Applications for Animal Production and Health Section (APHS), particularly as it relates to a project that is close to South Africa which the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VETLAB) Network.

We are pleased that the report states that APHS has been effectively delivering services to Member States and that they have been able to respond to the demands of both the Agency and FAO’s Member States. South Africa is further heartened to note that the diversification of  APHS services has generated further opportunities to serve identified needs of Member States and that the section continues to perform well in achieving its stated objectives by developing and delivering new technological solutions and supporting capacity building of national veterinary laboratories. We have also noted that APHS operations have indirectly contributed to gender equality and women empowerment through supporting women participation in capacity building. My delegation looks forward to future targeted initiatives in this regard.

We welcome the recommendation that a strategic plan for APHS, in partnership with key Agency and FAO stakeholders must be developed, as this will support the progress made by the VETLAB Network which has successfully evolved into an interregional association for capacity building and practice exchange among national veterinary laboratories. We encourage Member States to support the VETLAB Network, especially during this time when they are providing valuable support to Member States during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In conclusion, my delegation welcomes the reporting that 11 recommendations stemming from the Country Level Evaluation and Audits mission undertaken to South Africa in 2016 and completed in 2017, are now closed.

With these comments, my delegation takes note of the note of the 2019 Internal Audit Activity Report, as contained in document GOV/2020/10, and the 2019 Programme Evaluation Report, contained in document GOV/2020/11.

Thank you.

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