Statement of the G77 and China during the Informal Working Group on the Budget 2011, delivered by H.E. Ambassador Eugenio María Curia, PR of Argentina on 26 November 2009

Madam Chair,

The Group of 77 and China congratulates you on your assumption of duties as chairperson of this working group. We have full confidence in your wisdom and capability in guiding our work and look forward to engaging with you in a constructive manner in the coming months.

With a view to reaching a consensus on the budget for 2011, the G-77 and China continues to reiterate its call for a balanced distribution of the budget so as to reflect the equal importance of the three pillars of the Agency namely the promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear technology including technical cooperation, safety and safeguards.

The Group underscores that the promotional activities of the Agency, delivered through technical cooperation, is the main statutory function of the Agency, while nuclear security, though an important consideration, is NOT a statutory function of the Agency. Therefore, the Group believes that it is fully justifiable to continue funding the activities undertaken in the area of nuclear security through voluntary and extrabudgetary resources.

The Group once again emphasizes that the primary responsibility for nuclear safety and security remains with Member States.

The Group continues to hold the strong view that the Agency's Technical Cooperation Programme and promotional activities are in a greater need of sufficient, assured and predictable (SAP) resources. Therefore the Group is of the view that Major Programmes 6 on Technical Cooperation Management, 1 on Nuclear Power, and 2 on Non-power Applications still lack sufficient funding from the Regular Budget.

The Group believes that this Working Group could serve as a forum for discussing solutions for a more equitable distribution of safeguards related costs. In this context, the Group believes that the shielding mechanism must be revisited in order to protect the developing countries against the subsequent excessive financial burdens deriving from the ever-increasing safeguards budget.

Thank you Madam Chair.

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