Fourth Open-ended Working Group on the Medium Term Strategy (MTS) 2018-2023, delivered by Ms. Avril Coetzee, Chargé d'Affaires a.i., Permanent Mission of Namibia

Vienna, 19 May 2016

Mr. Chairman,

1. On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, I wish to thank Ambassador Bahtihjors Hasans of Latvia for chairing the discussions of the open-ended Working Group on the preparation of the Medium-Term Strategy for 2018-2023. The Group takes note of the list of proposed elements and looks forward to contribute to the initial draft of the new MTS, with the expectation that it will provide guidance to the Secretariat in designing programs and undertaking its activities for the subsequent programme and budget cycles.

2. The Group maintains that the MTS for the next cycle must be consistent with the Statute of the Agency and be based on the expectations of its Member States, taking into account the needs of developing countries. The future MTS should also draw upon the important lessons learned from the implementation of the current strategy. The Group, however, reiterates that the MTS should be flexible enough to be able to adapt to new developments, and the changing needs and priorities of Member States in its implementation.

3. The Group would like to highlight that the new MTS should reflect an appropriate balance between the Agency's promotional and non-promotional activities. The G-77 and China recalls the Agency’s statutory objective "to seek to accelerate and enlarge the contributions of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world", and underlines that the IAEA is the only international organization with the technical competence and expertise to fulfil this objective. Considering that the activities under Major Programs 1, 2 and 6 are of paramount importance in fulfilling this statutory mandate, the Group maintains that the activities under these programs should be accorded adequate financial and political support to enable the Agency to respond to the increasing requests of Member States, including in contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

4. The Group also reiterates that the new MTS should have an even broader emphasis on the enhancement of the Technical Cooperation Program in order to reflect its due importance as the main statutory vehicle of the Agency for transferring nuclear technology for socio-economic progress to meet the growing demands of Member States. This statutory responsibility of the Agency can only be fulfilled if the resources for the TC Programme are Sufficient, Assured and Predictable (SAP).

5. The Group of 77 and China is in the process of reviewing the proposed list of elements and will provide further comments in due course. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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