Statement of the Group of 77 and China during the second Meeting of
the Working Group on the Regular Budget and TCF Targets for 2018-
2019, on 28 February 2017, delivered by Mr. Asadollah Eshragh
Jahromi, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of
1. The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank the Co-Chairs for convening this second meeting of the Working Group, dedicated to an exchange of views on the Technical Cooperation Fund targets for 2018–2019 and the Indicative Planning Figures for 2020–2021. The Group would also like to thank DDG for Technical Cooperation for today’s presentation.
2. At the outset, the Group would like to recall that, according to its Statute, “The Agency shall seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world”. Furthermore, the Agency is authorized “To encourage and assist research on, and development and practical application of, atomic energy for peaceful uses throughout the world”. The promotional activities of the Agency, delivered through the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP), constitute, therefore, the main statutory function of the Agency.
3. As we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the IAEA, it is all the more important to remind ourselves of the centrality of the promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in the creation of the Agency and throughout its history. Over the last years, the role of the IAEA in the promotion of development and, in particular, in the achievement of the SDGs has been underlined.
4. The decision of Member States to synchronize the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) cycle with the regular programme and budget cycle had a clear objective. This synchronization provides a framework to consider increases to the resources for the TC programme, including the TCF targets. The underlying element of this process is the need to assure that the resources for Technical Cooperation are “sufficient, assured and predictable” (SAP), as well as to strike an adequate balance between the promotional and non-promotional activities of the Agency.
5. In this regard, the G-77 and China firmly believes that, in accordance with the decisions of the Board, the Technical Cooperation Fund Targets to be established for 2018 and beyond must be proportionate to the evolution of the Regular Budget. Moreover, the respective Indicative Planning Figures (IPFs) should be taken as the starting point for the biennium 2018-2019, as noted in the recommendations of Working Group on Financing of the Agency’s Activities (document GOV/2014/49). The Group believes that the TCF Targets should be increased accordingly, taking into account 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 TCP recipients, the price increases and other relevant factors.
6. The Group takes note of the allocation of 25.67 million Euro to MP6 for the Management of the Technical Cooperation for Development, which amounts to a 3.2% increase over 2017. At the same time, with regard to MP3, the Group notes that an increase of 6.4% has been proposed for Programme 3.5 (Nuclear Security). Concerning MP4, the Group notes that a 2.8% increase, amounting to almost 4 million Euro, is being proposed. Although the percentage of increase for Major Programme 6 – 3.2% – is the highest one, in financial terms, the increase proposed for this MP – around 800.000 euros – is lower than the ones being proposed for MPs 1, 2, 3 and, in particular, 4.
7. The Group also notes that, under the 2018-2019 TCP, 136 Member States, including 35 LDCs, will have a national TCP, representing an increase of 7 Member States compared to the previous biennium. The Group believes that more effort should be made to provide sufficient resources, including staff, for the management of the TCP if the priority areas for MP6 are to be given proper attention, such as ensuring adequate support to the growing number of Member States participating in the TCP and to the extended demand of Member States for the peaceful uses of nuclear technology for their sustainable development, including the achievement of the SDGs, as well as ensuring the capability to adequately respond to Member States’ requests for support through the TCP. This increased demand for support, as we all know, involves not only developing countries but also some developed ones.
8. In light of the above, the G-77 and China is ready to engage in discussions with other Member States on the issues at hand. To facilitate discussions, the Group requests the Secretariat to provide detailed information concerning the following issues, among others:
- The approximate funds a new country TC programme would require;
- Considering the increase in the number of TCP recipient countries, the approximate funds needed;
- The amount of TC projects which are unfunded, the so-called “footnote-a” projects;
- The additional staff needed by the Department of Technical Cooperation to give proper attention to the priority areas for MP6, such as the ones mentioned earlier in this intervention;
- The financial resources needed to place the appropriate emphasis on the Agency’s activities directly related to the implementation of the SDGs, in line with the Board Decision as contained in GOV/2016/29 addition to the activities already undertaken by the Agency;
- Given the emphasis placed on “Enhancing the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of the TCP and progressive implementation of outcome monitoring and evaluation measures”, the Group requests the Secretariat to provide detailed information on how the same type of measures have been/are being applied to the other Major Programmes.