Statement by Ambassador Mitsuru Kitano at the Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee Meeting


Item 2 : Technical cooperation: the Agency’s proposed programme for 2017

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
Japan attaches great importance to IAEA TC programme as one of the major vehicles to meet our common objectives stated in Article II of the Agency’s Statute, which is, “to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world”. The TC programme needs to effectively address the Member States’ growing needs, in particular, developing countries’ priorities for sustainable development. To do so, we believe that the TC programme needs to focus on further improvement of its effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and transparency.
Japan acknowledges with satisfaction that the Agency’s activities in peaceful uses of nuclear technology have been strengthened under Director General Amano’s initiative “Atoms for Peace and Development”. We also commend the Agency’s prompt actions to tackle emergency situations by utilizing its unique nuclear technologies, including its response to the outbreaks of infectious diseases such as Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean and Lumpy Skin Diseases in Europe, as well as the devastating earthquakes in Ecuador. With close coordination with the Secretariat and the Member States, Japan will continue to commit itself to further improvement of the TC programme. We stand ready to support various TC activities including in the areas of nuclear safety and radiation protection, as well as emergency preparedness and response, in order to further promote the use of nuclear technologies in a peaceful, safe and secure manner.  In this regard, I would like to express Japan’s views on the Agency’s resource mobilization, strategic management and resource allocation.
(Resource mobilization)
Mr. Chairman,
Japan is fully committed to achieving the goal of making TC resources sufficient, assured and predictable, and to fulfilling its part of the shared responsibility of all Member States. It is evident that the Agency needs to secure adequate resources to continue its missions. To do so, it is necessary to take actions in line with all the important recommendations contained in the Report of the Working Group on Financing the Agency’s Activities (WGFAA) as approved by the Board of Governors in September 2014 (GOV/2014/49).
          Let me touch upon a couple of points in this regard.
First, Technical Cooperation Fund.
Despite its fiscal constraints, Japan has consistently made available its full share of the TCF. Although the recent increase in the Rate of Attainment is a welcome development, we should not lose sight of the goal of reaching 100%, and we cannot afford to stop making efforts until that goal is reached. We would like to encourage all Member States to contribute their share of the TCF target as well as their National Participation Cost in full and on time. We also stress the importance of implementing the relevant recommendations of the WGFAA to reach this goal.
Second, Government Cost Sharing (GCS).
Government Cost Sharing is an important mechanism for strengthening the ownership of Member States and ensuring sustainable implementation of TC projects. Japan encourages Member States in a position to do so to contribute to their TC projects through GCS. We welcome the increase of the amount of GCS in 2016 from the previous year.
Third, extra-budgetary resources.
Japan welcomes the recent trend of increase in supplementary extra-budgetary contributions to the TC programme. In particular, we are pleased to note that the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), a financial mechanism to mobilize additional resources for the Agency’s activities, reached a funding milestone of 100 million euros last September, significantly enhancing Member States’ access to peaceful use of nuclear technology. Japan has made approximately 24 million USD of PUI contribution in the past five years. In the TC programme, our PUI has been allocated to a number of unfunded TC projects, so called “footnote/a” projects, and we will continue to provide support to such projects.
Fourth, awareness raising.   
Japan stresses the importance of outreach activities to raise awareness of the Agency’s activities to build a foundation for partnerships with other organizations and entities, and for resource mobilization. We commend the Agency’s work in this respect, which is beginning to achieve tangible outcomes, including a grant of over 1 million USD received from a private foundation this October in the area of child nutrition. Japan has actively promoted, and raised awareness of, the Agency’s activities in peaceful uses of nuclear technology in various international events. The recent events include G7 Ise-Shima Summit this May and the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICADVI) this August. Japan also recognizes the importance of the International Conference on the Technical Cooperation Programme to be held in May next year, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Agency. We hope to see high-level participation from various stakeholders in the conference.
Lastly, partnership with various entities.
 In recent years, a number of Japanese local governments, universities and research organizations have established partnerships with different Departments of the Agency in the areas of nuclear safety, nuclear power, human health, agriculture and environmental protection. We believe these partnerships are delivering benefits, not just for Japan and the IAEA Secretariat, but for broader membership of the Agency through the implementation of TC projects. In May this year, Osaka University has concluded practical arrangements with the TC Department in the area of nuclear medicine.
(Strategic management and resource allocation)
Mr. Chairman,
It is important for the Agency to maximize effectiveness and efficiency within limited available resources, in order to respond to Member States’ growing needs for Agency’s activities. This includes further enhancing internal coordination within the Secretariat, and developing and implementing projects with a results-based approach.  In this context, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could offer the Agency great opportunities. In order for the Agency to fulfill its role with regard to the SDGs, the Agency needs to work even harder to effectively allocate available resources in support of Member States' priorities. We hope that the Secretariat will take into account these factors in preparing the draft Programme and Budget for 2018-19. We also hope that the Secretariat will actively support Member States in developing their priorities and planning TC projects that would have maximal impacts on achieving the SDGs. In this light, we appreciate the report by the Director General on addressing the challenges facing least developed countries (LDC), GOV/INF/2016/12, as a valuable document.
As stated in the LDC report, capacity building in the area of radiation protection is crucial for developing countries. Japan recognizes that nuclear safety and radiation protection are key to the successful implementation of TC projects in various areas. Japan has supported the Agency’s TC and other projects through our PUI to strengthen capacity building in these areas and will continue to do so.
Japan believes that strengthening the Secretariat’s technical capacities in the NA, NE, and NS Departments can significantly benefit TC projects, as these Departments share the Agency’s expertise and technologies to Member States. Japan’s PUI contribution of approximately 5 million USD to the ReNuAL project is a concrete example of this approach. In addition, Japan has recently decided to allocate 600 thousand US dollars from PUI to the project aimed at enhancing the capability of the Isotope Hydrology Laboratory of the Agency in environmental tritium analysis. Japan will continue this kind of support to the Agency.
With these comments, Japan supports the recommended actions as set out in document GOV/2016/50.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.