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23. November 2015

AFRICAN GROUP STATEMENT DELIVERED BY AMBASSADOR TEBOGO SEOKOLO, CHAIR OF THE AFRICAN GROUP, AT THE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND COOPERATION COMMITTEE OF THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 23 NOVEMBER 2015, VIENNA

AGENDA ITEM 2: TECHNICAL COOPERATION: THE AGENCY'S PROPOSED PROGRAMME FOR 2016-2017

Mr Chair,

The African Group expresses its appreciation to the Secretariat for the Agency’s Proposed Technical Cooperation Programme for 2016-2017, as contained in document GOV/2015/60 and its three Addenda, as well as the informal briefing provided to Member States on 4 November. We also thank the Deputy Director General for his introductory remarks under this agenda item.

The African Group associates itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the Group of 77 and China by H.E. Ambassador Armin Andereya, Permanent Representative of Chile.

Mr Chair,

The African Group reiterates that technical cooperation is the primary vehicle through which the Agency fulfils its statutory mandate in promoting the peaceful use of atomic energy, thus assisting developing countries, particularly in Africa in addressing socio-economic development challenges and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Group would like to encourage the Secretariat to continue working with Member States, to maximize the results and the socio-economic impact of technical cooperation projects.

The Group reiterates its view that the resources available for the TC Program should be Sufficient, Assured and Predictable to meet the objectives mandated in Article II of the Statute, and should grow in proportion with the increasing membership of the Agency and the demand for technical cooperation. The Group further stresses the importance of maintaining an adequate balance between the Agency’s promotional and non-promotional activities.  

The Group also wishes to highlight the importance of implementing the recommendations of the Working Group on Financing the Agency’s Activities and the Working Group on Resource Mobilization, to contribute to rendering the resources for the TC Fund sufficient assured and predictable.

Mr Chair,

With regard to Figure 1 (Distribution of the TC core programme for 2016 by field of activity cluster (new and ongoing projects)), the African Group is pleased to see that  “Health and Nutrition” figures as the prominent area of interest but notes that “Safety and Security” accounted for the largest share. The Group would like to see, in future, a stronger programme emphasis on “Food and Agriculture”.

With regard to Figure 3 (Distribution of new project activities in the TC core programme for 2016 –2017 by region) in document GOV/2015/60, the African Group wishes to express its view in future budgets, allocation to regions should take into consideration the developmental needs of each region and bear in mind that Africa was the most marginalized continent, with the greatest needs in terms of poverty reduction — with 41 out of the 42 African Member States receiving technical assistance through the Agency.

Mr Chair,

The African Group notes that the programme for Africa for 2016 - 2017 includes several projects that reflected recent emerging trends and new challenges in Africa.  The proposed programme consists of projects that address the six AFRA themes of human health; food, nutrition, and agriculture; industrial applications and radiation and waste safety; as well as crosscutting issues such as human resource development and nuclear knowledge management. The African Group encourages the Secretariat to continue supporting such regional projects.

In this regard, the African Group greatly appreciates the Secretariat’s support for AFRA activities and is grateful to those donor countries, which funded AFRA projects.

Mr Chair

The African Group requests the Secretariat to make every effort to ensure, where relevant, that the Agency’s technical cooperation programme, taking into account specific needs of each Member State, particularly developing countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), contributes to the implementation of the principles expressed in the Istanbul Declaration, the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011–2020. In this regard, the Group would appreciate to receive, in a timely manner, the conclusions of the work of the Secretariat regarding specific characteristics and problems of Least Developing Countries with respect to the peaceful application of nuclear science and technology.

Mr Chair,

The Group reiterates its view that the resources available for the TC Programme should be Sufficient Assured and Predictable to meet the objectives mandated in Article II of the Statute, and should grow in proportion with the increasing membership of the Agency and the demand for technical cooperation.  The Group further stresses the importance of maintaining an adequate balance between the Agency’s promotional and non-promotional activities.  The Group also wishes to highlight the importance of implementing the recommendations of the Working Group on Financing the Agency’s Activities and the Working Group on Resource Mobilization, to contribute to rendering the resources for the TC Fund sufficient assured and predictable.

The Group also requests the Secretariat to make every effort, to ensure, where relevant, that the Agency’s technical cooperation programme contributes to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, while taking into account each Member State’s national priorities. In this regard, the Group thanks the Director General for his report on the Contribution of the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme to the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, contained in document GOV/INF/2015/16, and would appreciate receiving more in depth information on the way the Secretariat intends to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

With these remarks, Mr Chair, the Group joins consensus in having the Committee recommend to the Board the actions listed in the Agency’s proposed Technical Cooperation program as contained in document GOV/2015/60, and requests that its views and comments be duly reflected in the official records of the TACC meeting.

I thank you.

 

 

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