Statement by Minister Hirotaka Matsuo at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting starting on 10 June 2019: Agenda Item 3: Strengthening the Agency’s technical cooperation activities: Technical Cooperation Report for 2018

Thank you, Madam Chair,

Japan would like to commend the tangible outcomes that have been achieved through Director General Amano’s initiative, “Atoms for Peace and Development”. We appreciate that the Technical Cooperation Report for 2018 was provided to Member States in a timely manner prior to this Board of Governors. The TC Report for 2018 provides a comprehensive picture of the annual progress, including such an important activity as the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology last November. The TC Report, including its supplement, is an informative and important document that helps Member States enhance their understanding of the Agency’s TC activities.

Japan appreciates the Agency’s outreach activities at the key international events. With a perspective towards promoting and strengthening partnerships with a wide range of TC stakeholders and partners, we welcome the Agency’s participation in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD, Ministerial Meeting held in Tokyo last October. Japan also welcomes the exchange of views between the Agency and various stakeholders who are involved in development in Africa. Those include delegations from African countries, parties relevant to development assistance, and private sector entities. We understand that such opportunities are meaningful and effective for sharing the Agency’s efforts toward achieving the SDGs. In August, this year, TICAD7 summit meeting will be held in Yokohama, Japan, and we are looking forward to welcoming distinguished representatives from the IAEA, and having active discussions with stakeholders and partners. We believe that the Agency’s participation will contribute to increasing recognition of the Agency’s efforts in achieving the SDGs.

As the TC report indicates, Japan is delighted to share that the IAEA and a consortium of 11 Japanese universities and institutions signed the practical arrangement last November with a view to enhancing their cooperation for human resource development in the field of nuclear medicine. Under this partnership arrangement, 4 workshops and 3 scientific visits are planned this year. We are pleased to see the strengthened partnerships between the IAEA and Japan, and also look forward to further strengthening this cooperation.

Madam Chair,

Japan would like to express our concern that the rate of attainment on payments for the TCF dropped to 91.4% in 2018, which is the lowest in the last 4 years. We are also concerned that the rate of attainment of 39 member states were zero in 2018. Japan recognizes the TCF as the most important mechanism to support the effective and efficient implementation of the Agency’s TC Programme, and sufficient, assured and predictable resources are essential. This issue of low rate of attainment is a matter of concern from the aspect of ‘shared responsibility’. In this context, we are delighted to see the consensus in the discussion of strengthening the Due Account Mechanism under the excellent leadership of Italian Ambassador in this regard.

Japan highly values the Agency’s contributions in emergency assistance for natural disasters. Unfortunately, several massive natural disasters occurred last year. We hope that the Agency’s implementation regime for emergency assistance will be strengthened.

Japan continues to place great importance on capacity building in TC projects. One of the highlighted projects is the new project ‘Educating Secondary Students and Science Teachers on Nuclear Science and Technology’, where Japanese experts have played an active part. This project focused on introducing nuclear science and technology into secondary education. It involved Japanese experts who contributed to developing user-friendly gamma detector and provided effective teaching methods for experiments. We are looking forward to observing future development of the project which could have an impact on 1 million students.

With these comments, Japan takes note of the Technical Cooperation Report for 2018 and its supplement as contained in document GOV/2019/16.

Thank you, Madam Chair.