1. Allow me, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, to thank the Director-General for his comprehensive introductory statement and the DDG for Technical Cooperation, Ms. Ana María Cetto, for presenting this agenda item. I would also like to thank the Department of Technical Cooperation for preparing the report contained in documents GOV/2005/80 and GOV/2005/80.Add.1.
2. The Group of 77 and China is confident that under your able guidance this meeting of the TACC will achieve significant results in advancing the Agency´s Technical Cooperation Programme. I wish to assure you of our strong support to this end.
3. The Group of 77 and China wishes to reiterate the great importance that it attaches to the Agency´s technical cooperation activities, as they are the main statutory vehicle for transferring nuclear technology to developing countries for their socio-economic development, in keeping with the IAEA's Statute. Over the years, the Group has participated actively in the discussions and negotiations regarding the TC Programme. By doing so, our membership has sought to ensure that the IAEA technical cooperation activities are strong, efficient and effective in meeting national needs in a sustainable manner and that they continue to keep up with the growing needs of developing countries in key areas for their sustainable development, such as the peaceful applications of nuclear technology in human health, power generation, industry, water management and agriculture.
4. The Group stresses the importance of the Agency's contribution to the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals and its role as an important partner for development. Furthermore, we wish to highlight the relevance of the development of strong operational partnerships between the IAEA and other international agencies and financial institutions and of Technical Cooperation between Developing Countries (TCDC), including within the context of regional cooperative arrangements and using inter-alia regional resource centers.
5. Allow me now to turn specifically to the agenda of this TACC meeting. In what concerns document GOV/2004/80, on the Agency´s proposed technical cooperation programme for 2006, the Group of 77 and China takes note of the distribution of the 2006 TC programme and of the fact that the largest share of the core programme is attributed to assistance planned in the field of Human Health, one of the areas of fundamental importance for developing countries. The Group wishes to stress the view that the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme must continue to be an instrument "to meet the needs of research on, and development and practical application of, atomic energy for peaceful purposes, including the production of electric power, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world", as stated in the Statute. In this context, the Group is of the view that the development, through the TC Programme, of activities to meet the needs of Member States that correspond primarily to other areas of the Agency's work must continue to be limited.
6. The Group notes the low rate of financial resources allocated to the water management area of the 2006 programme and hopes that this field will get more attention in the future.
7. The Group notes with concern the continued presence of a large number of footnote a/ projects without funding in the proposal and urges the Secretariat to continue to find concrete ways and means to seek financial resources for such projects, which have been found to be technically sound and to fit within the requesting country's programme. In this regard, the Group welcomes the hiring of a P-4 Resource Mobilization Specialist and wishes to express the view that the existence of such an officer is long overdue. On the other hand, we wish to express the view that it is also necessary to identify amounts of funding for footnote-a/ projects other than those mentioned at the end of paragraph 7 and in paragraph 9 of the report.
8. The Group of 77 and China notes with satisfaction that the resource picture for 2005 has shown steady improvement when compared to that of previous years and that it is likely that the rate of attainment for 2005 will be achieved. This is a clear recognition of the importance attached to the TC Programme. We call upon Member States to improve this picture even further by contributing to the Technical Cooperation Fund in full and in a timely manner. While noting that, as of 15 October 2005, only three Member States had not yet been able to pay the minimum NPC required to make the new projects operational and that payment of NPCs has enabled 278 out of 295 new projects for 2005 to begin, we regret the lack of flexibility which led to postponing the implementation of new projects in the current cycle and note specific financial regulations and problems that may have kept some Member States from meeting their obligations.
9. The Group has also noted the occurrence of a lower-than-average financial implementation of the programme early this year and has the expectation that the measures taken to address this problem will enable the Secretariat to make full use of funds available to it. The G-77 and China, aware of the ongoing changes in the structure as well as in the methods of work in the TC Department, reiterates the great importance it attaches to continuous dialogue and consultation with the Secretariat.
10. As for recommended action (f), contained in document GOV/2005/80, the G-77 and China is of the view that the Secretariat should consult Member States before adjusting the core programme if there is a shortfall of the funds made available to the Technical Cooperation Fund. With these comments, the Group supports the recommended action.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
1. The Group of G-77 and China expresses its appreciation to the Secretariat for preparing document GOV/2005/84, pursuant to the Board of Governors' request, and thanks Ms. Ana María Cetto, DDG for introducing this Agenda item.
2. The Group has studied with interest the document which is an update of the report submitted to the June 2004 session of the Board of Governors with further information on the impact of harmonizing the Regular Programme and the Technical Cooperation Programme Cycles.
3. The Group recalls in this regard the view of the External Auditor that the lack of synchronization was not conducive to the overall monitoring and reporting of programmes on a comparable or consistent basis and that the Agency consider this harmonization at the earliest opportunity taking into account all aspects resulting from changes made in the optimisation of the TC process.
4. Noting that the Regular programme includes the Support and Management activities for the TC programme, the Group agrees that the requirements of the TC Programme for a given cycle should be reflected in the development of the Regular Programme and the corresponding budget to support the TC programme.
5. On the question of how information on these requirements could be included in the process of formulating the Regular Programme and Budget, the group considers that preliminary information would be available from the project concepts and prequalification phases and could be included in the draft Programme and Budget, while more precise data could be provided when the TC programme is formulated, and will be taken into account in further drafting and modifying the Regular Budget.
6. The Group agrees that the Regular Programme activities needed to support the TC programme in any given year depend on the entire TC programme and not only on the newly approved projects and that this aspect should be taken into account when planning the Regular Programme and the corresponding budget. But it is also true that the new TC Programme Cycle Management Framework is expected to enhance the planning of the Technical Cooperation and improve the formulation of the projects, thus making available, in a timely manner, more precise information not only on the current TC Programme but also on the next one which would be in a planning phase. This, coupled with the improvement of the implementation plans for the TC projects, will address the concern mentioned above.
7. The Group is also of the view that synchronization allows for the availability of more precise information, in a timely manner, on the specific technical areas that will be covered by the TC programme and the extent of support required in terms of scientific and technical contribution, as well as management and administrative support. This information will be used in the formulation of the Regular Programme and Budget.
8. Furthermore, the Group is convinced that, with synchronisation, assessing the performance of the Regular programme will take into account the results of completed projects and other TC activities during the corresponding cycle. This in turn would help provide information on correlated results on the performance of both programmes during the same time period.
9. The Group is of the view that synchronisation of the two cycles is a step towards harmonizing the Agency's programmes planning, implementation and assessment which would be a better reflection of the one house policy. It should be underlined that synchronisation will enhance the in-house communication and coordination required for a successful and sustainable harmony of the programmes.
10. To this end, the Group wishes that the synchronisation of the two cycles takes place at the earliest. However, the Group considers that the introduction of a three-year TC Programme for 2007-2009 will pose difficulties to several Member States who have already submitted project concepts for a two year cycle and could not add more concepts nor could they revisit those already submitted. This would also put more pressure on the staff of the TC Department with potential consequences on the implementation rate which is already subject to some external factors.
11. The Group bears also in mind the recent restructuring of the Department of Technical Cooperation as well as the introduction of the Programme Cycle Management Framework which is in a trial phase.
12. The Group is therefore favourable to the option (b) recommending to the Board of Governors to synchronise the Regular Programme and the Technical Cooperation Programme Cycles as of 2012, which would require a three year TC programme. This means also that the targets for the TCF should be set for this interim period.
13. While supporting recommended action b, thus delaying the synchronization, the Group encourages the Secretariat to take actions so as to include, to the extent possible, the information about the requirements for support to the TC programme in the process of formulating the 2008-2009 Regular Programme and Budget.
14. Finally, Mr. Chairman, The Group considers that it would be preferable if the programme of the regional cooperative agreements could be also synchronized with the regular and TC cycles.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.