The Group wishes to extend our welcome to the new team of top managers of the Technical Co-operation Department and ensure them of its continuous support. Nonetheless, the Group notes that 3 out of the top 4 managers used to be nationals of Member States of this Group, which is not the case now. We believe that the Agency will make an effort to balance this change by including nationals of Member States of this Group in the next echelon of Senior Managers.
The G-77 and China wishes to thank the Director General for his comprehensive introductory statement. The Group wishes also to thank the DDG, Ms. A. Cetto, for Technical Co-operation and the TC staff for preparing the relevant documents.
The Group wishes to extend its warmest congratulations to you, we are confident that under your able guidance the meeting will achieve significant results in advancing the technical cooperation programme.
The Agency is indeed a very unique Organization. It performs verification and promotional activities, which we are strongly committed to.
With this in mind, the Group wishes to reiterate its position that it attaches great importance to the technical cooperation activities as it is the main statutory vehicle for transferring nuclear technology to the developing countries for their socio-economic uplift through the peaceful application of atomic energy. The technical cooperation must be seen as a concrete expression of Article II.
With this spirit the developing countries seek to ensure that the technical cooperation activities are strong, efficient and effective in meeting their national needs in a sustainable manner, this requires a common vision and effective strategy to make that vision come true and for that to happen we could envisage to formulate this strategy in a "plan of action" to be implemented within a specific and well-defined timeframe.
This vision we anticipate should be seen in the context of specific limitations such as matching the growing needs of developing countries in key areas for their sustainable development such as the peaceful applications of nuclear technology in power, water supply, health, industry and agriculture, enhance the Agency's contribution to the fulfillment of the Millennium Declaration goals and to ensure that the Agency is really seen as an important partner for development, and for the action plan we propose the following:
As a starting point the Secretariat should be invited to complete as soon as possible its review of the technical cooperation activities and the resources available to it and also the necessary fund to adequately perform its activities.
Another essential element would be the introduction of possible new sources of financing and practical mechanisms allowing for the incorporation of a footnote a/ projects into the core technical cooperation activities, only through an active and consistent effort by the Secretariat can the footnote a/ projects receive the necessary funding requirements to adequately perform its activities.
A central element of the action plan should be the development of strong operational partnership between the IAEA and with other international agencies and financial institutions.
An important dimension of the action plan would be South-South cooperation with the assistance of the Agency to promote peaceful application of nuclear energy. We stress in this respect the importance of the High-level Conference on South-South cooperation to be held in Marrakech, Morocco, in December 2003. We wish the Agency to participate actively in this event.
The TC department should increase its efforts to improve the rate of implementation of the overall programme.
In this sense, Member States should be better informed of and involved in the follow-up of the outcome of the efforts of Standing Advisory Group on Technical Assistance and Cooperation (SAGTAC). Member States and the Secretariat can draw many benefits from such deliberations.
The above mentioned action plan is not intended to replace the unique efforts currently implemented by the Secretariat to improve the efficiency of the technical programmes but rather complements these efforts.
The Group wishes to express its readiness to fully cooperate with the Secretariat in putting this action plan in order.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The agenda item on the rate of attainment is of particular importance to the Group of 77 and China as it is closely related to the strength of the technical cooperation fund.
One of the main causes of setbacks to the Agency's technical cooperation programme is insufficient funding, which has persisted for the past several years. When the Member States decided to try the rate of attainment mechanism to find a solution to this problem in 2000 (vide the GC resolution GC(44)/RES/8), a hope was created that this mechanism would stimulate the flow of resources into the technical cooperation fund.
After the passage of three years and setting the targets for each year it is still felt that funds are not flowing into TCF as was expected in the year 2000.
It was a good foresight of those who drafted the aforestated resolution to keep the monitoring provision which would determine the course of improvement or otherwise of the TCF in the ensuing years. Pursuant to a Board decision to this effect, the rate of attainment mechanism is now reviewed. In this context, Mr. Chairman, the Group of 77 and China greatly appreciates the Secretariat's assistance to the Member States by providing a short review on the rate of attainment as contained in document GOV/2003/73.
In the same context, Mr. Chairman, the Group appreciates your initiative to constitute a Working Group to deliberate upon the rate of attainment issue with a view to see if this mechanism has been effective in achieving its purpose and to recommend ways and means to ensure that the TCF becomes sufficient, predictable and assured. Useful discussions are taking place in this working group under the able leadership of the distinguished Ambassador of the Czech Republic. The Group of 77 and China is hopeful of a successful outcome of the deliberations being conducted in this working group.
The Secretariat has also produced a note on a related mechanism called "Due Account Mechanism" which is supposed to motivate Member States to pay their dues in full and in a timely manner. This document gives a brief resumé of the structure and applications of the due account mechanism but is short of necessary details on its implementation history and its effectiveness. The Group of 77 and China would request the Secretariat to add more substance to this note in order to enable the Member States to draw conclusions on its efficacy and to suggest appropriate recommendations, in particular concerning the application of the due account to donors.
The Group of 77 and China, after carefully analyzing the Agency's rate of attainment mechanism, feels that this mechanism has not yet achieved its intended objectives. Many Member States are still not paying their shares to the TCF in full and on time. Some Member States are not paying at all.
It appears that the rate of attainment concept has assumed the nature of an indicator rather than a stimulant. The Group of 77 and China is of the view that the rate of attainment mechanism may be allowed to continue to act as an indicator or a reminder but should be improved to include incentives for the Member States to substantially enhance their contributions to the TCF. In this context TACC may give some practicable recommendations for the benefit of the Member States. At present there seem to be two ways to overcome the problems of the rate of attainment. First to increase the target as is provided in GC(44)/RES/8 and, second to apply the due account mechanism to donors. However, Mr. Chairman, the Group of 77 and China would be in a better position to form its final position on this issue after the conclusion of the deliberations of the open-ended Working Group.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.