Statement by Minister Hirotaka Matsuo at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting starting on 4 June 2018 Item 3:Strengthening the Agency’s technical cooperation activities: Technical Cooperation Report for 2017

Thank you, Madam Chair,

Japan acknowledges with satisfaction that a number of tangible outcomes have been achieved through Director General Amano’s initiative “Atoms for Peace and Development”. The Technical Cooperation Report for 2017 provides a comprehensive picture of TC activities such as annual progress, achievements, financial status and priority projects in each region, including the International Conference on the IAEA Technical Cooperation. We welcome this TC Report as a valuable document that helps the Member States to enhance our understanding of the current status of the TC activities and their future direction.

The TC Conference was a significant event, which was attended not only by other international organizations, but also bilateral development agencies from Member States. Japan highly values such opportunities for partnership-building. We hope the Agency will continue to strengthen partnership-building with other international organizations, through international forums relevant to the SDGs, such as the United Nations High-level Political Forum. Furthermore, we hope that the contribution by Agency’s Technical Cooperation will be more highly valued among international development bodies such as the United Nations Development Group. We believe this is possible through continued focus on contributing towards SDGs by utilizing Agency’s unique perspective, experience and expertise in nuclear techniques.

Madam Chair,

Japan welcomes the fact that the total amount of extra-budgetary contribution to the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI) reached 121 million Euro at the end of 2017. This is the result of the generous contributions from 24 countries and the European Commission, and they have benefited over 150 countries. Japan has contributed 29 million Euro to date to the PUI, and supported more than 80 projects implemented by the TC and other Departments. In view of the important role played by the PUI in promoting peaceful uses of nuclear technology, we would like to encourage further contribution to the PUI from a larger number of countries. In this respect, we hope that PUI reporting to donors will be improved by enhancing clarity and consistency.

Japan is pleased to note that the total available resources for the TC programme reached 105 million Euro in 2017. We welcome, in particular, the increase in Governmental Cost Sharing, and hope that it will further expand in the coming years. With regard to the rate of attainment for the TCF in 2017, we recognize as a positive development that it reached 97.7%, the highest rate ever. However, it remains a matter of concern that 45 countries paid nothing to the TCF last year. Member States’ contribution of their TCF shares, in full and on time, are essential for sustainable project implementation. In this regard, we stress the importance of making progress in the discussion on strengthening the Due Account Mechanism, and we hope that improved mechanism will be applied to the 2020-21 TC cycle.

Madam Chair,

We believe that the Agency should strengthen its resource mobilization and partnership-building, in order to cope with growing development needs of Member States. Japan has continuously supported the Agency’s work for this objective, not only financially, but also by providing experts, and sharing knowledge and experiences. Most recently, as noted in the TC Report, such partnership was reinforced between the Agency and non-traditional partners with excellent expertise in nuclear science and technology, such as Osaka University and Chiyoda Technol, a Japanese company. We would like to encourage the Secretariat, and the relevant Member States to identify potential partners in their own countries. Further, we recognize that promoting operational efficiency within the Secretariat is essential, and we stand ready to support the efforts toward this end.

With regard to the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), Japan reiterates its concern regarding the governance, internal controls and risk management. We note the establishment of the Task Force to address the issues. For Japan, management of PACT is a matter of grave interest therefore I wish to stress the importance for the Secretariat to share with Member States in a timely manner, results and progress in the work of the Task Force for improved management of the Programme.

Japan recognizes that the Agency is stepping up its effort to better assess the impacts of TC projects and its implementation in the context of the results-based management. Japan fully supports such efforts by the Secretariat. We believe that there should be a systematic approach to impact assessment of TC activities, which allows the Agency to measure their impacts on the priorities of recipient countries and regions, as well as the degree of their contribution to the SDGs. This would enable us to demonstrate the achievement of Technical Cooperation Programme in a more convincing manner to broader stakeholders in the international community. This would also lead to increased transparency of TC activities and resource utilization.

Madam Chair,

Japan is actively engaged in the preparation for the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology as a co-chair, together with Costa Rica. We are committed to working for success of the Conference, in close collaboration with Member States, as well as all relevant Departments of the Agency. In this connection, I wish to highlight the importance of the ReNuAL project to all Member States. I also wish to note that a Japanese company Shimadzu Corporation donated its product, mass spectrometry equipment, to the laboratory in Seibersdorf under the ReNuAL project. The company has also provided training on the use of the equipment on a periodic basis. It is our hope that new collaborative relationships with non-traditional partners such as research institutes and private companies will stimulate new ideas and perspectives in the use of nuclear science and technology.

With these comments, Japan supports the recommended actions with regard to Technical Cooperation Report for 2017, as contained in GOV/2018/15.

Thank you, Madam Chair.