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10. June 2019



Technical Cooperation Report for 2018

Madam Chair,

1. My delegation associates itself with the statements delivered on behalf of the G77 and China and the African Group respectively. I would like to make the following remarks in our national capacity.

Madam Chair,

2. The Technical Cooperation Programme is the most important delivery mechanism through which the Agency fulfils its statutory mandate to promote the peaceful uses of atomic energy, thus assisting Member States to realize their socio-economic development priorities.  South Africa is therefore pleased that the 2018 report highlights the importance of the TC Programme to the Agency and Member States. Furthermore, in November 2018, the Declaration of the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology also recognised the important role of nuclear science and technology in meeting the common goals of achieving sustainable development and protecting the environment, particularly in the context of Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

3. Our experts and scientists are also committed to finding better and safe methods to diagnose and treat cancer. Together with the Agency, within the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA) and with other relevant stakeholders - South Africa is undertaking a number of projects and activities to enhance access to quality radiotherapy treatment in the African region; as well as improving access to quality Cancer Management through Sustainable Capacity Building.

Madam Chair,

4. South Africa will continue to work together with the African Group and the Secretariat and we further wish to remind all Member States of our shared responsibility towards funding and enhancing the TC activities of the Agency. My delegation believes that timely and full payment of assessed contributions will not only alleviate any associated challenges in the implementation of projects but also ensure that that the Agency’s resources for TC activities are Sufficient, Assured and Predictable.

5. The TC Report further highlights the efforts taken throughout the reporting period to strengthen the role of the Country Programme Frameworks (CPFs) as the main strategic planning tool for the development of national TC programmes for Member States. We are pleased to pronounce that South Africa remains committed to its full implementation.

Madam Chair,

6. Allow me to take the opportunity to highlight various further projects and achievements, which focus on a number of critical areas for my country such as: human resource development and human and animal health. It is important to emphasize that education; training and innovation are central to South Africa's long-term development and form a core component of our National Development Plan. Our in-kind contribution in 2018 of experts and training courses to the Agency is therefore not only in line with our national objectives, but also advances international cooperation - a critical area of the Agency’s work.

7. My country will continue to host Fellows and scientific visits, while sending out our own experts and trainees to gain further knowledge. In this regard, our Regional Designated Centres and Centres of Excellence serve to strengthen the peaceful use and application of nuclear science and technology in support of the realisation of our national development plans, African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Madam Chair,

8. In relation to Food and Agriculture - the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VETLAB) Network has grown to be a global network of national veterinary laboratories. South Africa, as a contributor to this Network is pleased that the network is currently looking at ways to expand into other regions. VETLABS have achieved further significant success in assisting partner laboratories in Africa in diagnosing for the first time ever – the pseudocowpox virus infection in cattle.

9. The strengthening of the Network’s capacities for the diagnosis and control of a plethora of trans-boundary and zoonotic diseases remains a major focus area in Africa and Asia; and we urge Member States to support this network.

10. Moreover, we are pleased to note that the Agency continues to view the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC) as an important partner; because the area-wide integrated pest management programmes against tsetse and fruit flies remain a priority for us. South Africa’s project on Supporting Area-Wide Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Management to improve Livestock Productivity is at an advanced phase. We are working closely with the Agency and various stakeholders to ensure that this project is ultimately successful in achieving its objectives of contributing to the development of sustainable agriculture, through the development of improved livestock production and food security in South Africa.

11. With regard to the efforts made in achieving food safety, South Africa would like to thank the Agency in assisting the region to acquire improved regional infrastructure for the measurement and setting of standards, as well as networking opportunities that the related projects and activities provide. South Africa remains committed to this programme and we were pleased that 33 African Member States and other non-state stakeholders participated in the African Food Safety Workshop in June 2018, in partnership with the National Metrology Institute of South Africa.

12. Finally, Madam Chair, the Departments of Technical Cooperation and Nuclear Sciences and Applications provide invaluable support to AFRA and its members and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their work. AFRA continues to be an integral framework for promoting Technical Cooperation among Countries in Africa and we welcome its growth, with Djibouti as the newest AFRA State Party. AFRA partnerships are essential in enhancing regional ownership, self-reliance and sustainability of national nuclear institutions in African Member States. 

13. With AFRA celebrating its 30th anniversary this year - South Africa is proud to host the 30th Technical Working Group Meeting in July and we look forward to a successful meeting that will set the tone for this milestone.

14. With these remarks, Madam Chair, my delegation takes notes of the Technical Cooperation Report for 2018 as contained in document GOV/2019/16.

I thank you.


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