IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
Statement by Mr Jarrod Powell, Alternate Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA
Australian Statement on the 2018 Technical Cooperation Report
10 June 2019
Thank you, Chair.
Australia thanks the Director General for the Technical Cooperation Report for 2018. We also thank Deputy Director General Yang for his introductory remarks, and the Secretariat for the informative briefing held on the ninth of May.
The Technical Cooperation Programme plays an important role in assisting Member States to benefit from nuclear science and technology. We also recognise the Programme’s value in assisting developing Member States to meet their development goals, and, more broadly, the important role played by the Programme in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Australia recognises that the success of the Technical Cooperation Programme requires sufficient, assured and predictable funding.
We appreciate that, at the end of 2018, the rate of attainment remained above 90%, but note that it is at its lowest point since 2014.
Australia expresses its thanks to the Ambassadors of Morocco, Slovenia, and Italy, and to the Chair of the Board of Governors the Ambassador of Jordan, for their roles in bringing our discussions on the Due Account Mechanism to a positive and constructive resolution.
Australia has always paid its assessed target share of the TCF in full and on time, and we call on all Member States in a position to do so to do likewise. We continue to believe that this is the best way to provide certainty to the Technical Cooperation Programme.
Australia also has a long history of making extra-budgetary and in-kind contributions to the TC programme. We commend the 16 other Member States that made extra-budgetary contributions in 2018, and the many Member States that made in-kind contributions, and encourage all Member States in a position to do so to consider making such contributions in support of the TCF.
‘Safety and Security’, ‘Health and Nutrition’, and ‘Food and Agriculture’ remained the most significant themes addressed by the TC Programme in our region – Asia and the Pacific. In particular, the significant growth, over the past three years, in the proportion of TC funding applied to Food and Agriculture projects in Asia and the Pacific is indicative of the increasing priority being placed on developing modern, sustainable agriculture practices throughout the region, as envisaged in Sustainable Development Goal number 2.
While the rate of implementation in Asia and the Pacific has fallen to 85.1 percent in 2018, we note that the rate of implementation for projects administered under the Regional Cooperative Agreement remained high, at more than 92 percent. This highlights the efficiency and effectiveness of the RCA as a mechanism for delivering regional projects.
Australia continues to hold concerns that TC resources are not necessarily being distributed to those with the greatest development need. As we have stated previously, we believe that all Member States in a position to fund their own Technical Cooperation activities should do so, thereby allowing TCF resources to be utilised to benefit developing countries – particularly Least Developed Countries – to the greatest extent possible. We note this does not prevent participation by any Member State in TC projects, but rather helps to ensure that resources go to where they are needed most.
As we have commented in previous years, Australia is appreciative of the explicit reporting of women’s participation in TC in both the Report and its Supplement. We note that the proportion of female participants in the Technical Cooperation Programme as a whole remains low. While there has been slow movement towards gender balance in some TC participant categories, this is not the case in others. We encourage the Agency to continue its efforts to increase the participation of women in the TC Programme.
With these comments, Australia takes note of the Technical Cooperation Report for 2018 and its Supplement.