Statement by the Group of 77 and China statement during the IAEA Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee delivered by H.E. Ambassador Maria Zeneida Angara Collinson, Permanent Representative of the Philippines
Vienna, 23 November 2015
Agenda Item 2: Technical Cooperation: The Agency's proposed Programme for 2016-2017
1. The Group expresses its appreciation to the Secretariat for the Agency’s Proposed Technical Cooperation Program for 2016 - 2017, as contained in document GOV/2015/60 and its three Addenda, as well as the informal briefing provided to Member States on 4 November. We also thank the Deputy Director General for his introductory remarks under this agenda item.
2. The Group reaffirms the importance of the Agency’s Technical Cooperation Programme as the main vehicle for the promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and recognizes the contribution of the TCP towards the achievement of national as well as internationally agreed development goals.
3. The Group emphasizes that the Technical Cooperation Programme is a shared responsibility and should therefore result from the combined efforts of the Department of Technical Cooperation, of the Technical Departments of the Agency and of Member States. These efforts are crucial for the planning and successful implementation of the Technical Cooperation Program, which is based on the needs and evolving priorities of those Member States in which TC projects are implemented.
4. In this regard, the Group highlights the role of the Permanent Missions in Vienna and the necessity of engaging and keeping them duly informed in the preparation of their relevant national and regional projects under the TC Programme, including in the preparation of the Country Programme Frameworks.
5. The Group reiterates its view that the resources available for the TC Programme should be Sufficient Assured and Predictable to meet the objectives mandated in Article II of the Statute, and should grow in proportion with the increasing membership of the Agency and the demand for technical cooperation. The Group further stresses the importance of maintaining an adequate balance between the Agency’s promotional and non-promotional activities. The Group also wishes to highlight the importance of implementing the recommendations of the Working Group on Financing the Agency’s Activities and the Working Group on Resource Mobilization, to contribute to rendering the resources for the TC Fund sufficient assured and predictable.
6. The G-77 and China welcomes the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) concluded between Iran and the E3/EU+3 on 14 July 2015. The Group firmly believes that the role of the Agency, in accordance with its Statute, is vital for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy through technical cooperation with Member States. The Group fully supports the removal of all restrictions and limitations imposed on the technical cooperation between Iran and the Agency in 2016-2017, as of the implementation day of the JCPOA, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015).
7. With these remarks, the Group will join consensus in having the Committee recommend to the Board the actions listed in the Agency’s proposed Technical Cooperation program as contained in document GOV/2015/60, and requests that its views and comments be duly reflected in the official records of the TACC meeting.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Agenda item 3: Evaluation of technical cooperation activities in 2015
1. The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank the Office of the Internal Oversight Services for presenting its evaluation of the Agency’s technical cooperation activities in 2015 as contained in GOV/2015/62.
2. The Group continues to attach great importance to this regular evaluation by OIOS to ensure the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, impact and sustainability of the Agency’s Technical Cooperation Programme.
3. Given the increasing demands on the Agency’s budgetary, human and other resources, the Group of 77 and China encourages the OIOS to carry out its audit and evaluation functions in an effective, judicious and sustainable manner, utilizing opportunities for synergies presented by other existing audit, evaluation and assessment mechanisms in the Agency and in the Member States. The Group notes A.8 of the Report stating that TC-related evaluations in 2015 by OIOS had benefitted from the assistance of concerned stakeholders. Strengthening these links would enable OIOS to pursue its work without straining the Agency’s already challenged resources.
4. The Group notes that three of the TC-related evaluations during 2015, namely in Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay, were based on the new process of country-level evaluation and audit (CLEA) introduced by OIOS. The Group further notes that the overall cost of TC-related evaluation activities in 2015 amounted to 495,709 euros and if CLEA-related internal audit costs are included, this figure goes up to 713,464 euros. While the Group appreciates the introduction of new methods of evaluation, these should take into account cost requirements and implications for the Agency’s total resources. The Group notes that in Part B – “Common Findings Across Evaluations Completed in 2015, it is stated that “these findings are not restricted to evaluations in 2015, and have been frequently identified through OIOS evaluations in previous years”, or in other words before the introduction of CLEA. In this regard, additional information will be appreciated on the added value of CLEA.
5. Apropos of Part B, the Group:
a. Welcomes the finding that Member States highly value TC projects;
b. While recognizing the difference between outputs and outcomes, draws attention to the practical difficulties -- in terms of time and resources -- of the Agency taking on the responsibility of ensuring outcomes because there would be exogenous factors at work in their determination. It would be more appropriate for the Member State to ensure the achievement of outcomes
6. Regarding the Evaluation on the Use of Partnerships Within the Technical Cooperation Programme (Annex IV), the Group is of the view that, in general, partnerships can help the TC Programme of the Agency deliver significant contribution to sustainable development priorities of Member States. The Group, therefore, supports greater use of partnerships where applicable with appropriate, impartial counterpart organizations such as UN agencies. The Group recommends that partnerships be considered at an early stage when Country Programme Frameworks are being conceptualized. In this regard, the strategic guidelines on partnership and resource mobilization prepared by the Working Group on Resource Mobilization should continue to guide the Secretariat. The inputs of the Member States are crucial in this regard. The Group notes the Recommendations therein and requests the Secretariat to consider their implementation, as appropriate..
7. Regarding the Evaluation on the Effectiveness of Best Value Procurement and its Impact on the Implementation of Technical Cooperation Projects (Annex V), the Group notes the Recommendations therein and requests the Secretariat to consider their implementation, as appropriate.
8. The Group notes with concern the finding that there has been limited interdepartmental working, information sharing and coordination in the Secretariat and requests that remedial measures be taken as soon as possible to ensure efficiency and to maximize valuable resources.
9. The Group notes and stresses the importance of balance of allocation of resources for evaluation purposes between TC-related activities and other activities of the Agency which require similarly intensive evaluations given that these activities account for a larger portion of the Agency’s budget.
10. With these comments, the Group of 77 and China takes note of the Evaluation of Technical Cooperation Activities in 2015, as contained in document GOV/2015/62, and requests that its views and comments be duly reflected in the official records of the TACC meeting.