Remarks by Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Chair of the Group of 77 and China at the 11th Meeting of the Working Group on Financing the Agency's Activities, 1 July 2014

Madame Co-Chair, Mr. Co-Chair:

I would like to make these remarks at the outset of the meeting of the Working Group today.

First, let me compliment you, Co-Chairs, for your sheer determination and continued enthusiasm in taking forward the process you have embarked upon, for the last five months. We are aware that you have in your heart, the larger interests of the organization, IAEA that we all expect to deliver on its mandate effectively and efficiently. Let me posit within this broader rubric of 'effectiveness and efficiency', the need for "sufficient, assured and predictable" resources required for delivering technical assistance.

Second, as I choose to speak today in the backdrop of continuing preparation within the Group of 77 and China, of positions and proposals to advance within the Working Group, let me take this opportunity to reassure you, Co-Chairs, of the Group's commitment to the process that is continuing today. This process must result in a set of recommendations that would fulfill the mandate given to the Working Group. We look forward to contributing productively to advance this process.

Third, we have highlighted some of the thematic issues and possible ideas for helping to address them in our previous statements. We have done so in the form of principles guiding the approach within Group of 77 on such issues. I would like to stress that this work is making further headway within the Group of 77. However, at the Working Group, we are now working on practical aspects and their related questions of the need for SAP. It is in this sense that we concur with you and other delegations which spoke at the meeting held last week, that we are advancing towards a crucial stage in our deliberations where consideration of practical issues and related questions should receive the utmost consideration.

Fourth, as we have witnessed in multilateral negotiations often, good will and commitment alone do not translate themselves into an outcome or results. Even as we manifest them in abundance, we all must realize that it is time now to attune ourselves to a sense of urgency that the situation calls for. Further, it is also the time to avoid 'surprises' and 'continuous shifting back and forth' in the ongoing process, either in our earnest desire to fast-track decision making, or in the name of making progress. The need for logical steps and a structured, gradual approach is now acute. Documents, no doubt, aide deliberations on more complex and more sensitive issues, but they also often have the potential to contribute to the process slackening, for want of prior consultation and clarity.

Fifth, having said all this, it is important, nevertheless, to express the hope that procedural or technical constraints, in so far as they relate to the conduct of the process of the WG, will not and should not hold us back. Because we are not in a formal process. And because it is well known that a formal process cannot bring us closer to a decision that is an informal process is preferred. We see the ongoing work within WG in this light. While ensuring that such a process moves smoothly, following structured, gradual approach, with logical sequential steps, is a must for its success, it is not our intention, however, to have recourse to procedural defense or to get into procedural wrangles. It is important to assure ourselves, first and foremost, of this imperative in our consultations.

Sixth, as I sated before, the Group of 77 and China is now actively engaged in addressing the practical aspects and related questions thrown open within the Working Group last week. We deliberate on the basis of suggestions we have already received, and are receiving from our delegations, not just to react to the ideas and perspectives which emerged, and exchanges that took place thereon, within the WG already. We do so to construct our own suggestions and proposals, as well, in a manner that is as composite as practicable. This is being done with a view to bringing them to the floor as soon as possible. I take this opportunity to urge my colleagues within G 77, to contribute to, and complement, this ongoing intra-group process with relevant inputs.

Finally, Co-Chairs, while appreciating the onerous task you have taken upon yourselves, and reiterating our desire to contribute towards its success, I would like to inform the Working Group that, in the circumstances I have described, the work within the G-77 is currently continuing. As I said before, some headway is being made now. It is our hope that we would be able to come up with perspectives and proposals before next week.

I thank you, Co-Chairs, for giving me the floor and the delegations for the patient hearing.

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