IAEA Technical Assistance and Co-operation Committee (TACC)
Statement by Mr Jarrod Powell, Alternate Representative of Australia to the IAEA
Agenda Item 2: Technical Cooperation: The Agency's proposed programme for 2022-2023
22 November 2021
Thank you, Chair.
Australia thanks the Director General for his report on the Technical Cooperation Programme for 2022-2023. We also thank DDG Liu for his remarks, and the Secretariat for the useful briefings provided prior to this meeting.
The IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Programme plays an important role in assisting Member States to benefit from nuclear science and technology. We recognise the Programme’s value in assisting developing Member States to meet their development goals, and in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals more broadly. The Technical Cooperation Programme is also a major mechanism for fulfilling the obligations of States Parties under Pillar III of the NPT.
The success of the TC Programme requires sufficient, assured and predictable funding. Australia has a proud record of paying its assessed contribution to the TCF on time and in full. We encourage all Member States to do likewise.
Australia also supports measures that increase the TC Programme’s efficiency and effectiveness, to ensure it continues to deliver the best possible outcomes for Member States.
In Australia’s experience, regional programmes are particularly effective at delivering lasting benefits to Member States. We are highly active in the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology for Asia and the Pacific – the RCA. We encourage Member States that are considering, designing and proposing future national TC projects to consider whether a regional approach might provide additional benefits.
We continue to hold concerns that TC resources are not necessarily being directed towards those Member States with the greatest development need. 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. 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.
Australia believes that efforts to achieve gender equality in TC will result in far-reaching benefits to the Programme’s operation. Australia strongly supports measures that seek to ensure gender parity in both the TC Programme and the Agency more broadly.
We thank the secretariat for its continued efforts to ensure Member States continue to benefit from the TC Programme throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including through the use of innovative platforms for coordination and communication.