Agenda Item 2 - The Agency's Draft Budget's Project for the year 2000
The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank Dr. ElBaradei for his excellent introductory statement as well as Mr. WaIler for his constructive and detailed comments regarding item 2 of the Agenda. In addition, the Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Secretariat on the preparation of the documents under consideration.
The Group of 77 and China believes that the draft budget included in document GOV/1999/1 is consistent with the changes approved by the Board of Governors for the Programme relating to year 2000. The Group notes the efforts deployed by the Secretariat to maintain the Zero Real Growth Target for the last 15 annual budgets of the Agency. However, the Group feels that the flexibility exerted by the Secretariat to accommodate the new activities within the existing resources would soon reach a limit, and that such flexibility should not compromise core activities of the Agency.
Mr. Chairman, The Group of 77 and China equally welcomes the use of saving measures for the purpose of maximizing the implementation of the programme within the resources currently available. We hope that these measures are applied in a manner that would not hamper the efficiency of the Agency's activities. With regard to the Additional High Priority Activities, the Group of 77 and China expects that, after consultation with the Member States, a clear mechanism for the adequate financing and implementation of such activities would be employed.
The G-77 and China is pleased to see that importance is being attached to the programmes of relevance to developing countries covering areas such as food, water, agriculture, health and environment. The G-77 and China welcomes the emphasis that has been given to small and medium sized reactors development and is hopeful that comparative assessment of energy sources would clearly bring out the advantages of nuclear energy.
The Group considers that more time is needed prior to the eventual cancellation of tasks dealing with energy resources, availability and price trends, and with long term projections of energy and electricity demand and share of nuclear energy, because of a potential overlap with the work carried out by OECD/NEA. A transitional period of close cooperation between the two Organizations is necessary before any final decision on this issue is taken.
Mr. Chairman, The Group feels that coordinated research projects are important and that there should be more of them. The Group is of the opinion that a favourable review should be made on the financial amount awarded per project. Lastly, with respect to training programmes for young professionals from developing countries for possible recruitment by the Agency, the Group is encouraged that despite the overall reduction in Major Programme 4, the biennial programme will take place in the year 2000 and seeks continuation of the same. The Group lends its full support for such training programmes in all the major programmes of the Agency.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.