Statement of the G-77 and China during the IAEA TACC meeting, 20-23 November 2006, delivered by H.E. Ambassador Horacio Bazoberry, PR of Bolivia

Agenda item 2: Technical Cooperation: The Agency's proposed programme for 2007-2008

Mr. Chairman,

Allow me, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, to thank the Director-General for his comprehensive introductory statement and to extend the Group's warm congratulations to you on your election as Chairman of the Board of Governors and express its confidence that under your able guidance the meeting will achieve significant results in advancing the Agency´s technical cooperation programme.

The Group wishes to thank the DDG for Technical Cooperation, Ms. Ana María Cetto, for presenting this agenda item and the TC Department for preparing the documents under this agenda item, as well as for the briefings on issues related to this meeting.

Mr. Chairman,

The Group 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. The Group strongly emphasizes that the promotion of peaceful applications of atomic energy constitutes a fundamental element of the statutory activities of the Agency.

The Group will continue making proposals aimed at ensuring that technical cooperation activities are efficient and effective in meeting developing countries national needs in a sustainable manner and that TC activities continue to match their growing needs in key areas for their sustainable development, such as the peaceful applications of nuclear technology in food and agriculture, human health, industry, water resource management, environment, knowledge management, and nuclear energy planning and production. Bearing in mind that "The Agency's resources for technical assistance shall be allocated primarily to meet the needs of developing countries;" the Group will support initiatives, which could contribute to achieving these objectives.

Such a goal can not be achieved if we fail to ensure that the Agency's resources for technical co-operation activities are sufficient, assured and predictable as stressed by the General Conference resolutions, and in particular Operative Paragraph 2 of resolution GC(50)/RES/12 that "Requests the Secretariat to explore means to ensure that resources for the Technical Cooperation Programme are sufficient, assured and predictable, and to report to the Board of Governors on its findings;". The Group will extend its full cooperation to the Secretariat in implementing this resolution.

Mr. Chairman,

The Group welcomes the achievement of the rate of attainment of 90%, as established by the Board of Governors, showing again the Commitment of Member States to TC. However, the Group expresses its concern that 7.5 Million US Dollars of the target was neither paid nor pledged. The Group calls on all Member States to pledge and pay their contributions in full and on time, and looks forward to the review of the rate of attainment, with the view of reaching in the near future the rate of 100% for all Member States.

Regarding the Technical Cooperation Programme for 2007-2008, the Group would like to commend the efforts of the Secretariat to develop in a very cooperative way the programme using the web based IT platform. Furthermore, the Group is confident that the Secretariat has developed this programme in a professional, impartial and non-discriminatory manner, following a well established process based on Member States demands and in line with the Statute of the Agency and in accordance with the decisions of its policy making organs. It is fundamental for the efficiency and credibility of the Agency that technical assistance is not subject to any political,

Notwithstanding the difficulties encountered in using the web based interaction in line with the Programme Cycle Management Framework (PCMF), and aware that more time is required to achieve a better implementation, the Group is of the view that new programme development process will contribute to improving transparency. The Group emphasizes that all measures taken in this regard should preserve and enhance the ownership of technical cooperation projects by developing Member States.

Mr. Chairman,

The Group notes that the 2007-2008 programme reflects an increase of about 10% in comparison to the present programme and welcomes that it is demand driven and thus focused on areas related to sustainable development and is in line with the objectives of the Millennium Summit. In this regard, we encourage the Agency to continue providing assistance, expertise and equipments needed in the fields above-mentioned.

The Group encourages the Secretariat to extend further assistance to developing countries to respond to the increasing interest in Nuclear Energy and to meet their growing needs for energy, while according due consideration to safety requirements.

The Group notes the large number of Footnote a/ projects and underlines that there is a need for the Agency to set up a concrete strategy to address this challenge.

With this comments, the Group agrees to the recommended actions. Thank you.

Agenda Item 3: Evaluation of Technical Cooperation Activities

Mr. Chairman,

The Group of 77 and China would like to express appreciation to Mr. Ibrahim Ali Zeekeh, Director of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), for presenting the report on Evaluation of Technical Cooperation Activities in 2006, as contained in Document GOV/INF/2006/15. The Group considers the evaluation process as an important means for efficient implementation of TC programme. The evaluations were conducted with the participation and assistance of external evaluators and the support of Department of Technical Cooperation, and it is a matter of satisfaction that various stakeholders were consulted, on main factors affecting implementation, relevance, outcomes and sustainability of the projects, before drawing conclusions and recommendations.

The Group notes with satisfaction that the evaluation placed the Agency's TC programmes on Human Nutrition as highly relevant to the development priorities of Member States as well as to the Agency's mission and the Medium Term Strategy. It assisted Governments in promoting policies in the area of human nutrition based on scientific evidence, and also achieved the objectives of demonstrating the usefulness of isotopic and related techniques to address important issues in this area.

The evaluation of the Agency's Technical Cooperation programme on Food Safety has indicated a positive impact on strengthening and improvement of national capabilities for food analysis and control, and an increased availability of safe food. The projects on food irradiation resulted in establishing national capacities for ensuring the quality and safety of irradiated food for exports.

While the Secretariat has completed two of the three programme evaluations planned for 2006, no reasons have been given for delays in the completion of the third programme on the evaluation of TC projects related to education and training in the area of nuclear knowledge management. The Group would like to emphasize the importance of making available sufficient funding and observing time frames to carry out such activities. The Group is of the view that the remaining work should be completed on priority, and instead of deferring the report on it to the next TACC in November 2007, the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) should present the findings during the meetings of the Board of Governors in March 2007.

With regard to the specific conclusions and recommendations from the evaluation of the Agency's TC Programmes on Human Nutrition and Food Safety, the Group would like to express its support for all the recommendations listed and looks forward to receiving further information on the status of their implementation.

Mr. Chairman,

The Group has also noted the work plan for 2007 that includes evaluation of two important areas of TC programmes relating to Animal Production and Health, and the Technology Support to Radioisotopes, Radiopharmaceuticals and Radioanalytical Services. The latter will also complement the regular programme evaluation on physical and chemical applications. The work plan also envisages evaluation of the Fellowship Component of the TC Programme. The areas identified for assessment include the issues related to the placement of fellows. The Group looks forward to an assessment of this important element of human resource development that is a key factor for capacity building in nuclear science and technology in the developing countries. Special emphasis should be placed on the availability of host institutes since this area is presenting difficulties for the smooth implementation of fellowships. The Group considers that this issue can be addressed with the collaboration of all Member States by taking into account the recommendations from Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).

The Group commends the efforts of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) to provide support on enhancing the self-evaluation capabilities of the Secretariat and the Member States. The Group notes that a Workshop on self-evaluation methodology was organized in January this year for the managers of the Department of Technical Cooperation, and calls for similar Workshop to be organized for National Liaison Officers (NLOs) and delegates from the Permanent Missions. The initiative for collaborative evaluations with the evaluation offices of other UN organizations is praise worthy.

While taking note of the implementation status of the recommendations from the evaluations of TC programme since 2002, the Group hopes that the remaining recommendations would also be fully implemented soon.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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