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Statements

06. Mai 2013

Statement by Ambassador Xolisa Mabhongo, Governor of the Republic of South Africa to the International Atomic Energy Agency on the Programme and Budget Committee Meeting

I thank you, Chairperson, DDG Janice Dunn Lee and the External Auditor for the informative opening remarks and presentations. My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished Ambassador of Sudan, H.E. Mahmoud Hassan Elamin on behalf of the G77 and China and with the statement made by H.E. Ambassador Khaled Shamaa, the distinguished Ambassador of Egypt, on behalf of the African Group.

South Africa appreciates the Secretariat’s approach of prioritizing activities within and among programmes and identifying efficiencies and synergies in preparing the Agency’s Draft Programme and Budget for the biennium 2014-2015. South Africa has always supported the need for a realistic budget, which not only takes into account the financial situation that we face globally, but that would enable the Agency to meet the growing demands for its services. It is our belief that ensuring sufficient resources for the Agency to fulfill its mandate is first and foremost a matter of allocating the available resources to those activities of the Agency that best serve the needs and interests of Member States.

Chairperson,

My delegation would, at the outset like to take this opportunity to again emphasize the importance South Africa attaches to the Agency’s Technical Cooperation Programme, as it contributes towards addressing the socio-economic needs and sustainable development challenges of developing countries. Indeed the Agency’s TC projects are more than just political commitments, they constitute important building blocks to assist developing countries in their efforts to alleviate poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The TC Programme is also a mechanism which enables the Agency to meet its statutory objective of accelerating and enlarging the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world. In this regard we note that whilst Major Programme 6 shows an increase of 14.7%, the actual increase for the management of the TC Programme is a modest 3.2%. We look forward to the setting of a TC Fund target that would be proportionate to the needs of Member States and take into account the increasing membership of the Agency by developing countries.

As stated on various occasions, South Africa attaches great importance to the modernisation of the Seibersdorf Laboratories to support the valuable work of the Agency in the research and application of nuclear technology for development. Member States had the opportunity in 2012 to deliberate on the need for enhancing the capabilities of these laboratories to ensure that the FAO/IAEA Joint Division could continue to meet their growing needs. At the 2012 General Conference a resolution calling for the modernization of the nuclear application laboratories was endorsed by all Member States. We welcome that the Secretariat has made provision for the implementation of this resolution in the current budget proposal.

As the drafters of the resolution, my delegation would however like to note that the cancer training laboratory was not envisaged as part of the modernization efforts and therefore there was no reference to the cancer training centre in the resolution. Whilst we appreciate the additional information provided by the Secretariat in its two recent briefings, South Africa is not in a position to support the inclusion of the cancer training centre into the budget for the biennium 2014-2015. We look forward to receiving the Secretariat’s detailed budget proposal and would welcome further consultations with the Secretariat and other Member States in the near future on the feasibility and sustainability of such an endeavor. We would however call on all Member States to support the implementation of the modernization of the

Seibersdorf laboratories in this biennium and request that the funds currently earmarked in the budget for this purpose be used for the upgrade.

Chairperson,

Having recently commemorated World Malaria day South Africa would like to remind the Agency of the plight of Malaria in Africa. In the majority of African countries the burden of Malaria is greater than that of cancer and deserves the same attention afforded to cancer. We call on the Agency to redouble its efforts, as a matter of priority, to explore the potential for the application of nuclear technology for the prevention and control of malaria as a matter of priority. We also urge the Agency to step up its efforts on the Sterile Insect Technique and animal production and health to relieve the burden on the farming community. My delegation requests that the Secretariat reports back to the Board regularly on all its efforts in this regard.

My delegation welcomes the continued collaboration between the Agency and other UN agencies, such as the FAO, the WHO, UNEP. South Africa recognizes the benefits for the Agency of this collaboration, especially in areas where the Agency does not have the thematic lead mandate. We encourage the Agency to continue to strengthen this collaboration. We believe that the inclusion of the Agency in the UNDAF processes allows the Agency to bring its specific technical expertise to the broader development programmes and ensure maximum impact of the TC programme.

Chairperson,

South Africa takes note of the proposed changes to the organisational structure for the 2014–2015 biennium. My delegation is concerned with the lack of consultation on the proposal for the upgrading of the Office of Nuclear Security to a Division, as well as on the proposal to transfer PACT to Major Programme 6 and to upgrade it to a Division. My delegation appreciates the Agency’s valuable contribution to cancer research and cancer therapy and to the support it provides to the regional designated centres in Africa. We also appreciate the Agency’s support to Member States in the area of nuclear security. However we are of the opinion that the Secretariat must at all times strive to maintain the highest level of transparency and in this regard we call on the Secretariat to consult with Member States before such major changes, which may have budgetary and policy implications, are proposed.

Chairperson,

South Africa notes that the External Auditor has confirmed that the financial statements present fairly, that in all material respects the financial position of the IAEA, its financial performance and its cash flows for the year ended 31 December 2012 are in accordance with IPSAS. My delegation takes note of the key audit recommendations, which have been finalized after obtaining the response of Management on the audit findings and looks forward to the periodical monitoring of their implementation.

I thank you.

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