On behalf of the Group of 77 and China I would like to thank the Director-General for his very useful introductory statement. I am also grateful to the DDG of the Department of Technical Cooperation for introducing the documents on the issue of Technical Cooperation. In addition the Group records its appreciation for the preparation and submission of the documents GOV/2000/50, GOV/2000/50/Add.1, GOV/INF/2000/24 and GOV/INF/2000/25.
The area of technical cooperation is of greatest importance to the Group of 77 and China. We appreciate the support provided by the Department in various areas of nuclear power and non-power applications, which contributes to the socio-economic development of members of the Group.
The Group notes with appreciation the upstream work, consisting of intensive interaction with Member States including 40 country review missions to arrive at Country Programme Frameworks (CPFs) and 140 pre-project missions undertaken by the Department to arrive at the proposed programme for 2001-2002.
The Group has carefully gone through the programmes discussed in the documents and agrees with the technical aspects of the programme 2001-2002. In particular, the Group is satisfied, inter-alia, with the emphasis on the programme on water resources management using the techniques of isotope hydrology.
Notwithstanding the outcome of the COP-VI (Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC), the Group would also like to underscore the potential contribution that nuclear energy can make in reducing green house gas emissions.
The Group would like to stress the importance of adequate funding for the effective implementation of the technical cooperation programme. While having reluctantly agreed to keep the target figure constant and to endorse the new mechanism of rate of attainment, it was with the understanding that this would lead to a substantial increase in actual contributions. The rate of attainment was agreed in the last General Conference Resolution to be 80% for the year 2001 and 85% for 2002. The figure of 82% used for this rate for the year 2002 in the TC documents is therefore not in conformity with the figure agreed by all Member States at the General Conference.
Another concern reflected in the TC documents, specially that on the technical cooperation strategy, is the lack of adequate management resources within the Department. The Group therefore endorses the proposal of the approval of US$ 1 million to support management resources. We expect this would be a temporary arrangement and funds would subsequently be made available from the Regular Budget to meet the shortfall. The Group would like to emphasize that, in the meanwhile, this should not in any way negatively affect the allocation from the regular budget for the management of technical cooperation programme.
Another important issue discussed in the document on technical cooperation strategy is the provision of equipment for the TC programme. The Group fully supports the position that the supply of equipment should be related to the requirements of the TC projects to meet the needs of developing Member States. The Group therefore underlines that there should be no blanket policy limiting the spending on equipment.
In this regard the Department of Technical Cooperation is commended for their efforts in non-traditional fund raising, particularly in parallel financing from other donors and joint financing or cost-sharing from recipient countries. The Group further encourages this "match-making" role the Agency is playing, to ensure funding of TC projects by non-traditional donors.
The Group also wishes to recall that in the recently adopted resolution GC(44)/RES/18 the Director General was requested to facilitate all forms of Partnerships in Development by reviewing, amending or simplifying as appropriate, the relevant financial and legal procedures. It would, therefore, like to propose the modification of rule II: 2b (i) and (ii) contained in document GOV/2395/Mod.2 by waiving the approval of the Board for receipt of amounts above US$ 100,000 from intergovernmental organizations and non-government sources with which the Agency has not concluded a relationship agreement. This will promote the expeditious acceptance and use of such funds by the Technical Cooperation Department.
Finally, Mr. Chairman,
The Group is happy to note that most of the targets laid down for the technical cooperation strategy would be met by the end of the year. It would also like to commend the evaluation carried out by the department of some of the important projects over the last few years which would help in improvement of the project design in future.
With these comments taken into account, the Group recommends the action proposed as contained in paragraph 42 in document GOV/2000/50.