Statements of the G-77 and China at the IAEA Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee (TACC), 23-24/11/1998 delivered by H.E. Ambassador N. Mxakato-Diseko, Permanent Representative of South Africa

Agenda Item 2: Technical Cooperation: The Agency's proposed programme for 1999-2000

Mr. Chairman,
The Group of 77 and China commends the Technical Cooperation Department for the comprehensive document GOV/1998/59, GOV/1998/59/Add.1, GOV/INF/1998/19 and GOV/INF/1998/20 on various aspects of the Agency's Technical Cooperation Programme. The members of the Group have studied and discussed these documents in detail as they consider the Technical Cooperation Programme to be of great importance to the developing countries.

The resolution GC(42)/RES/15 provides the basic framework for the Technical Cooperation Programme. In this context the Group feels that nuclear power is not given adequate priority in the programme. The percentage allocation to this area has, in fact, decreased as compared to the previous years. Another area of considerable interest to the Group, i.e. nuclear desalination of water, also requires greater emphasis. It is, therefore, hoped that the relevant projects would be upgraded to core financing in the future.

With regard to the document GOV/INF/1998/20 on training course programme, the Group noted that the number of courses offered for the year 1999 are much fewer than those approved in the last TACC as contained in GOV/INF/825. The Group is in consonance with the Agency's view to harmonize different training programmes, but wishes to reiterate to the Secretariat that inter-regional and regional courses are also relevant to thematic planning and other general topics responding to the needs and interest of developing countries. Further, in view of the decrease in the number of courses, the Group urges an increase in participant numbers to adequately meet the requirements of developing Member States. The Group also notes with concern the reduction in the projects directed at infrastructure building. G-77 and China had reluctantly agreed to the nominal increase in the TCF by US$ 1.5 million for the year 1999 and no further increase for the year 2000, in the hope that there would be an increase in real terms in contributions by the Member States thus fulfilling their commitments. The group is, therefore, grateful to those Member States which have been continually meeting their obligations and also those States which have started contributing again or have pledged afresh. The members of the G-77 would also fulfill their responsibilities and there has already been a record collection of assessed programme costs. The Group is, however, concerned that the Technical Cooperation Programme could face difficulties in long term planning since the IPFs could only be decided for the coming biennium and the expectations of having predictable estimates for two cycles did not materialize. Thank you.

Agenda Item 3: Technical Cooperation Evaluation

Mr. Chairman, The Group thanks the Technical Cooperation Department for the detailed document GOV/INV/1998/21 and appreciates the earlier preparation of the blue book entitled "Planning and designing IAEA technical cooperation projects". The Group considers the exercise conducted by the Evaluation Section on the design review of project requests as very useful since it was able to identify the shortcomings in the project proposals. The participation of National Liaison Officers from selected Member States in a scheme for introducing participatory monitoring and evaluation of TC projects was, therefore, an important step. The Group encourages the TC Department to continue on a regular basis the activities of the design review panel and the meetings of National Liaison Officers and, in particular, to further increase the role played by the programming and implementation arm. A continuous process of efficient and effective evaluation during the execution of the projects is also desirable. The Group considers the policy of "tiered" or phased funding in line with the concept of "partners in development". This approach, and the selected focus for each cycle which would result in improvement in the achievement of goals, is, therefore, endorsed. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

B. IAEA Board of Governors 25-26 November 1998

Agenda Item 5: Criteria or guidelines for the consideration of requests for the restoration of voting rights

Mr. Chairman, The Group of 77 and China thanks Ambassador Ikeda, assisted by the Secretariat, for elaborating document GOV/1998/54/Rev.1, which will help to resolve in the medium term, the problem of the restoration of voting rights, thus contributing to a better representativity in the decision making process in the Agency. The Group reiterates the importance it attaches to the payment of contributions in local currency, as per prevalent practice, by the LDCs and the payment schedule in favour of countries in critical situation. In this connection the root-cause of the problem of non-payment of assessed contributions by Member States, and the recovery of arrears, should be addressed in a realistic and concrete manner. Nevertheless, the Group is also of the view that, while facilitating the payment of arrears, Member States should recognize the importance of fulfilling their financial obligations. Thank you Mr. Chairman.

Agenda Item 4: SAFEGUARDS

4c:The Proliferation Potential of Neptunium and Americium

Mr. Chairman,

The Group of 77 and China notes the report by the Director-General on the proliferation potential of neptunium and americium as contained in document GOV/1998/61. This is a complex issue, and the Members of the Group have referred the matter to their capitals for consideration by their experts. The Group would like to propose that this item be taken up, when safeguards items will be considered in depth, at which time a decision on appropriate action can be taken by the Board. Thank you very much.

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