Statement of the Group of 77 and China during the fourth meeting of the Working Group on the Regular Budget and TCF Targets for 2018-2019, on 6 April 2017, delivered by H.E. Ambassador Reza Najafi, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
1. The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank the Co-Chairs for convening this fourth meeting of the Working Group.
2. I would like to reiterate the main elements raised by the G-77 and China during previous meetings of the Working Group.
3. The Technical Cooperation Programme, as the main vehicle for transferring nuclear science and technology to developing countries, must have sufficient, assured and predictable financial resources. Without a sufficiently funded TC Programme, the IAEA will not be able to achieve its objective, as mandated in Article II of the Statute, which is “to seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world”.
4. There must be a balanced distribution of the budget between promotional and non-promotional activities of the Agency.
5. The Group notes in this regard that significant increases have been proposed for certain Major Programmes, in particular MP4, as stated in previous statements of the Group. Therefore, with regard to the current budget proposal there must be a corresponding significant increase in the budget for MP 6, which should be given adequate priority. It is necessary to provide sufficient resources, including additional staff, for better management of the TCP if the priority areas for Major Programme 6 are to be given proper attention.
6. The decision of Member States to synchronize the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) cycle with the regular programme and budget cycle provides a framework to consider increases to the resources for the TC programme, including the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF) Targets.
7. In accordance with the decisions of the Board, the TCF Targets to be established for 2018 and beyond must be proportionate to the evolution of the Regular Budget.
8. The respective Indicative Planning Figures (IPFs) should be taken as the starting point for the biennium 2018-2019, as noted in the recommendations of the Working Group on Financing of the Agency’s Activities (WGFAA) (document GOV/2014/49).
9. When agreeing on the figures for the 2016-2017 targets, the Group highlighted the two following points, as contained in its statement delivered during the meeting of the Board of Governors held in June 2015:
a) the Group noted that “whilst the IPF’s for 2016-2017 were converted into Targets without any increase on the dollar amount, this should not be seen as setting a precedent. The Group shall negotiate for appropriate increases in the TC Targets for 2018-2019, taking into account the IPFs, the price increases and all other relevant factors”; and
b) the Group expressed its view that the IPFs for the biennium 2018-2019 were the basis for negotiations for the TCF Target for that biennium and stated that the Group would negotiate for appropriate increases to the TCF Target for that Biennium.
10. The TCF Targets should therefore be increased accordingly, taking into account the following factors:
• the IPFs,
• the Board decision of June 2016 to place the appropriate emphasis on the Agency’s activities directly related to the implementation of the SDGs in Member States,
• the increasing number of Member States with a TCP,
• the fact that over time national TCPs become more mature and full-scale,
• the number of unfunded TC projects,
• the price increases and
• other relevant factors.
11. In conclusion, the Group looks forward to receiving a revised version of the Agency Programme and Budget for 2018-2019 which should take into account comments provided by the Group. The Group remains ready to further engage in consultations on the Programme and Budget, the TCF targets and IPFs.