IAEA Board of Governors: Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee
Statement by Mr Jarrod Powell, Alternate Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA
19 November 2018
Australian Statement on Agenda Item 2 – Technical Cooperation: The Agency’s Proposed Programme for 2019
Thank you, Madame Chair.
Australia thanks the Director General for his report entitled Technical Cooperation: The Agency’s Proposed Programme for 2019. We also express our thanks to Deputy Director General Yang for his introductory remarks, and to the Secretariat for the informal briefing on the proposed programme that was provided on the 30th of October.
We note that the programme for 2019 reflects that approved for the 2018-2019 biennium by the Board of Governors last year.
Australia attaches great importance to the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Programme, which aims to address many of the great challenges facing humanity. Through the implementation of projects on Health and Nutrition, Food and Agriculture, Safety and Security, and Water and the Environment, the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation programme is helping to increase economic and social prosperity in Member States and is contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The Technical Cooperation Programme is also a major mechanism for fulfilling the third pillar of the NPT.
Australia acknowledges the need for the TCF to be adequately funded, and has met its commitment to pay its assessed contribution to the TCF for 2019. We encourage all Member States to do likewise.
We welcome the positive and constructive approach taken by the Co-Facilitators for the Due Account Mechanism, their Excellencies the Ambassadors of Morocco and Slovenia. Australia will continue to engage in the ongoing discussions surrounding the Due Account Mechanism in a similarly constructive manner.
In addition to our TCF contribution, Australia also provides significant in-kind contributions to the TC Programme through hosting training programs, fellows and scientific visitors, and through providing experts for Agency-related projects and missions, particularly in our region through the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology for Asia and the Pacific - the RCA. We encourage other Member States in a position to do so to consider making similar contributions.
Australia notes that the number of unfunded footnote (a) projects continues to increase, as does the estimate of resources that would be required to fund them. We urge the Secretariat to address this, including through the strengthening of partnerships with relevant organisations and through the mobilisation of new and existing resources, and we encourage Member States to continue seeking efficiencies in Technical Cooperation project designs and proposals.
We also urge the Secretariat to seek efficiencies, including in the delivery of Technical Cooperation projects, through the application of a “one house approach” that cuts across artificial barriers within the Agency. Such an approach would ensure that the Agency’s world-leading capabilities and expertise are fully capitalised upon.
We look forward to the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology, which will showcase some of the major achievements of the Technical Cooperation programme, and will provide an opportunity to consider some of the challenges facing the nuclear community. In particular, we look forward to the session entitled Nuclear Science and Technology Applications: Sustaining, Enabling and Empowering, which will include a panel session on women in nuclear science and technology in which Australia will participate at a high level.
As we have previously noted in statements to the Board, reaching gender parity at the IAEA is an important objective on equity grounds alone, but we also emphasise the benefits that gender parity can bring in organisational efficiency and effectiveness. Nowhere is this truer than in Technical Cooperation, where the diverse communities delivering and benefiting from the Technical Cooperation programme will be best served by an IAEA that reflects their diversity.
With these comments, Australia supports approval of the actions recommended by the Director General in document GOV/2018/44.