Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia

Strengthening of the Agency’s technical cooperation activities

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

Statement by Australian Permanent Mission to the IAEA

Agenda item 3: Strengthening of the Agency’s technical cooperation activities

7 June 2021

Australia thanks the Director General for the Technical Cooperation Report for 2020, and Deputy Director General Liu and his team for the informative briefings provided in preparation for this meeting.

Sufficient, assured and predictable funding for the Agency’s Technical Cooperation programme is imperative to its success. We note however, that the rate of attainment in 2020 reached its lowest point since 2014, at 91.1%. Australia continues to pay 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. This is the best way to provide certainty to the Technical Cooperation programme, particularly in the context of the major challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we welcome the innovative approaches being taken by the Secretariat to promote and share the benefits of the peaceful uses of nuclear technology, we note the increasing emphasis being placed on extrabudgetary resources. To help ensure the ongoing effectiveness of the programme, we encourage the Secretariat to continue pursuing efficiencies, and to continue strengthening partnerships with other relevant organisations where appropriate, including with a view to leveraging complementary capabilities.

Australia remains concerned that TC resources are not necessarily distributed to those Member States with the greatest development need. We believe that all Member States in a position to fund their own TC activities should do so, allowing available resources to benefit developing countries – particularly Least Developed Countries – to the greatest extent possible.

In our experience, regional projects are particularly effective at delivering lasting benefits. In Asia and the Pacific, Australia is an active contributor to Regional Cooperative Agreement activities. We encourage Member States planning future national TC projects to consider whether a regional approach might provide additional benefits.

The continuing increase in the participation of women in TC activities is encouraging. In 2020, Australia was proud to launch the ANSTO-IAEA regional training course on Women for Nuclear Science Education and Communication, which had participation from female educators, communicators and experts from across the globe. We remain committed to improving the participation of women in nuclear science and engineering, and strongly support the Agency’s efforts in this regard.