Statement of the G-77 and China in the second meeting of the Working Group on the Programme and Budget and the Technical Cooperation Fund Targets for 2014-2015, delivered by Ambassador Mahmoud Hassan Elamin, Permanent Representative of the
Vienna, 24 April 2013
1. The Group of 77 and China wishes to thank you for convening the meeting of the Working Group on the Programme and Budget and the Technical Cooperation Fund targets for 2014-2015.
2. The Group believes that this Working Group could serve as a forum for discussing solutions for a more equitable distribution of costs between promotional and non-promotional activities of the Agency.
3. The Group reiterates 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.
4. The Group welcomes the allocation of resources for modernization of Nuclear Applications laboratory at Seibersdorf. The Group would appreciate receiving more information on the cancer training center to be established at Seibersdorf.
5. The Group underscores that the promotional activities of the Agency, delivered through technical cooperation, is the main statutory function of the Agency.
6. The Group reiterates its considered view that the Agency's Technical Cooperation Programme and promotional activities are in a greater need of sufficient, assured and predictable (SAP) resources. We are confident that deliberations in the Working Group will be helpful in identifying the ways and means to achieve that end.
7. The Group reiterates its view that the discussions in this Working Group should be 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), 2010 (GOV/2010/37) and in 2011 (GOV/2011/38) 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".
8. The Group recalls that the regular budget has increased by 5.5%, 4.1% and 3% in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively. This adds up to 12.6 % for the period 2010-2012. Instead of taking these changes into account, as called for in the aforementioned decisions, the TCF targets came down from $85 million in 2010 to $81 million in 2012. If the effect of falling rate of attainment of TCF targets is also taken into account, the resources available for TCF are further reduced. This is a cause for concern.
9. The Draft Programme and Budget 2014-2015 has proposed a 3.5% increase of the regular budget for the year 2014. The TCF for each year of the next biennium needs to take into account the increase in regular budget since 2010 and the one proposed for the next biennium. Technical Cooperation Fund targets to be established for 2014 and beyond should not be less than US$90 million per year as decided by the Board in 2011. The Group proposes that the TCF Target for 2015 be established at a level equivalent to the proposed target for 2014 plus the estimated price adjustment for that year.
10. The Group notes with concern the downward trend in the rate of attainment against the TCF target. The rate of attainment decreased from 94% in 2009 to below 90% in 2011 and that only 95 countries contributed to the TCF in 2011 compared to 114 in 2009. The Group urges all Member States to contribute their share of TCF in a timely manner so that technical cooperation delivery is not affected as it continues to be fully dependent on voluntary contributions and has not actually grown in proportion to the increased membership of the Agency.
11. The Group 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.
12. 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 2014-2015 biennium.