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09. September 2015

STATEMENT DELIVERED BY THE CHAIR OF THE AFRICAN GROUP, AMBASSADOR TEBOGO SEOKOLO, GOVERNOR/RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE OF SOUTH AFRICA TO THE IAEA, BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 7-11 SEPTEMBER 2015, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

AGENDA ITEM 6(B): PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR CANCER THERAPY

Madam Chair,

I have the honour to deliver the following remarks on behalf of the African Group on agenda item 6(b):

The African Group thanks the Director General for his report on the Programme of action for Cancer Therapy as contained in document GOV/2015/44-GC(59)/19.

The Group reiterates that the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) is an important mechanism that enables Member States to introduce, expand and improve their cancer control capacity by integrating radiation medicine into comprehensive National Cancer Control Programmes.

The Group also acknowledges the long and continuing history of the Agency, through its technical cooperation (TC) and human health programmes, of supporting Member States in developing the capacity and infrastructures required for the safe and secure diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Madam Chair,

With regards to the alignment of the PACT Division with the TC programme, the Group welcomes the efforts made by the PACT Division to ensure programmatic efficiencies and effectiveness, and to develop mechanisms for systematically involving relevant PACT staff, as part of the TC Project Team, in the planning and design of cancer related TC projects at the national and regional level.

Madam Chair,

While acknowledging the contribution made by the Agency in supporting a comprehensive and well defined health target as part of the post-2015 development agenda, the Group urges the Agency to continue its partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the Union for International Cancer Control, among others, in order to further strengthen Member States capacity to deal with the cancer problem.  The Group appreciates the participation of the Agency in the 9th SCCA (Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa) Conference for African First Ladies, which was held in Nairobi, Kenya in July 2015.

Madam Chair,

The Group notes with appreciation the impPACT review missions coordinated by the Division of PACT during the reporting period, as well as the efforts deployed to increase the effectiveness of these missions, which contribute to the enhancement of cancer control capacities and programmes at country level, including in African Member States.

The Group welcomes the activities carried out by Advisory Group on Increasing Access to Radiotherapy Technology in Low and Middle Income Countries (AGaRT), which aims to respond to the growing gap in access to radiation therapy persisting in Low and Middle Income countries. The Group encourages the Agency to follow up on the Advisory Group’s recommendation that the next cycle of activities, covering the period 2015-2019, should focus on increasing access to affordable, quality, sustainable radiotherapy technology and services.

The Group also welcomes the significant progress made in the transfer of the ownership and operation of the Virtual University for Cancer Control (VUCCnet) for Africa to the region and calls for the expansion of VUCCnet to other countries in the region, including francophone Member States, and the replication of the VUCCnet in other regions.

Madam Chair,

The Group welcomes the efforts made to explore strategic partnerships with a wide range of potential partners to address funding gaps in the cancer-related TC projects and encourages the Division of PACT to continue to seek partnerships and mobilise resources, in accordance with the strategic guidelines on partnerships and resources mobilisation endorsed by the Board in June 2015.

In this regard, the Group welcomes the project of the Division of PACT to develop a comprehensive resource mobilization plan in line with the Agency’s recently developed strategic guidelines on partnerships and resource mobilization, and an associated communications strategy, and would like to be kept informed of the matter. 

Considering the important work carried out by the Division of PACT, the Group encourages Member States, in a position to do so, to contribute to the cancer-related activities of the Agency, especially in African Member States.

With these remarks, Madam Chair, the African Group takes note of the Director General’s report on the Programme of action for Cancer Therapy, and authorizes the Director General to submit the report to the General Conference at its fifty-ninth regular session.

Thank you Madame Chair.

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