Statement of the G-77 and China in the first meeting of the Working Group on the Technical Cooperation Fund targets for 2012-2013 and Indicative Planning Figures for 2014-2015, delivered by Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Vienna, 14 March 2011

Madame and Mister Chairpersons,

At the outset, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, allow me to express our deepest condolences to the people and government of Japan for the loss of many lives and properties due to the devastating earthquake. The Group would also wish to express our sympathy and profound sentiments of sadness to the people and government of Japan for the tragic loss of lives and properties caused by the recent natural disaster.

The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank you, Ambassador Veronika Šmigolová of the Czech Republic and Ambassador Antonio Guerreiro of Brazil, for convening the important first meeting of this Working Group, which has been established to reach, under your guidance, an agreement on the target figures for the Technical Cooperation Fund for the biennium 2012-2013 and on the Indicative Planning Figures (IPFs) for the following biennium, 2014-2015.

We are confident that this open-ended dialogue will be helpful to identify the ways and means to make the Technical Cooperation Fund sufficient, assured and predictable, an issue of crucial importance for the Group.

The Group believes that the discussions in this Working Group should by guided by the previous decisions of the Board on the funding of the Technical Cooperation Fund, among others the budget packages approved in 2003 (GOV/2003/48), 2010-2011 (GOV/2009/52/Rev.1) and, of course, the budget package approved in 2010 (GOV/2010/37), which established that: "With respect to the targets for voluntary contributions to the TCF, the 2005 decision to synchronize the TC programme cycle with the regular programme and budget cycle provides a framework to consider increases to the resources for the TC programme, including the TCF target, beginning in 2012. Such adjustments would take into account the changes in the level of the regular operational budget from 2009 onwards, the price adjustment in the corresponding years, and all other relevant factors".

Having these decisions in mind, the Group wishes to recall that the real regular budget increases in the years 2009, 2010 and 2011 were of 1.2%, 3.5% and 3.0%, respectively, with the corresponding price adjustments of 1.1%, 2.7% and 1.1% for each one of those years. As a consequence, the total increase in the regular budget over the years, beginning in 2009, has been approximately of 13.2%. Moreover, as we know, the Draft Programme and Budget 2012-2013 has proposed a 2.9% increase of the regular budget for the year 2012.

The G77 firmly believes that, in accordance with the indicated decisions of the Board, the Technical Cooperation Fund targets to be established for 2012 and beyond must be proportionate to the evolution of the regular budget in the last three years, in 2012 and in the future.

Indeed, we wish to propose that the TCF target for 2012 be established at a level which is proportionate to the 13.2% increase of the regular budget between 2009 and 2011, plus the increase of the regular budget to be established for 2012.

Moreover, the Group proposes that the TCF Target for 2013 be established at a level equivalent to the proposed target for 2012 plus the estimated price adjustment for that year.

On the other hand, the Group strongly believes that the extra budgetary contributions, which always come with attached conditions, cannot be a substitute to the assessed contributions to the Technical Cooperation Fund.

More generally, the Group expresses its expectation that, for future budget cycles, the issues of the Agency's programme and budget and that of the TCF target are dealt with in a single working group, considering the clear linkage between both issues.

The Group expresses its strong expectation that this Working Group will allow for a meaningful dialogue with substantive outcomes for Board action that will facilitate the budget and TCF discussion on 2012-2013.

Thank you, Madame and Mister Chairpersons.

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