The Cuban delegation congratulates you on your recent election as President of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Cuba appreciates the presentation of the GOV / 2020/44 report by the Deputy Director General, Mr. Dazhu Yang, detailing the Agency's technical cooperation program for 2021 and requesting approval of the funds necessary to carry it out.
Regarding what is stated in the Report, Cuba presents the following considerations:
• We highlight the importance of all countries meeting their responsibility to pay their contributions to the Agency's Technical Cooperation Fund on time, which for 2021 has a target of 89.6 million euros. However, the particular circumstances of each country, especially the least developed and developing countries, must also be taken into account in the context of the pandemic.
• We draw attention to the fact that the imposition of unilateral coercive measures against developing countries hinders both the response of these countries to COVID-19, as well as the fulfillment of their financial contributions with International Organizations.
• We note that the proposed program by group of spheres of activities responds to the current needs of the Member States, favoring food security with 25.2%, human health and nutrition with 24.6%, and technological security and physical security. with 21.8%.
• In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, we observe that the budget for human health and nutrition is 24.6% of the total budget, followed by 23.8% for food security and agriculture, which corresponds to the current needs of the region. However, only 10.3% of the budget is allocated for the development and management of knowledge, which shows that the Agency still does not identify this activity with the due importance it has within the development of nuclear and radiological applications for the region .
• We note that in the distribution of the budget for Latin America and the Caribbean, it is in third place in national projects (14.2%) but in last place in regional (5.77%), despite maintaining a tradition of better rates. of implementation. This issue should be the object of analysis by the Agency.
• Cuba considers that the largest percentage of the funds of the Agency's Technical Cooperation Program should be destined to the implementation of national and regional programs and not to other expenses.
• We recognize that, in the context of the pandemic, the use of virtual platforms has emerged as a very positive alternative for strengthening the technical capacities of States. This instrument should continue to be used to the extent possible, with a view to achieving better use of resources without replacing the Agency's traditional activities.
• We highlight the capacity to mobilize extra-budgetary resources of the Director General and the Agency for the response to COVID-19. We appreciate the outstanding work carried out by the Latin America and Caribbean Division of the Technical Cooperation Department in supporting the region to face the pandemic. We take this opportunity to also thank the government of Canada, whose extra-budgetary contributions allowed the sending of additional aid to Cuba and other countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
• We reaffirm that the Agency must continue to be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, and respond to the needs of the Member States.
To conclude, Cuba reiterates its support for the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency and requests that these comments be incorporated into the Report of the Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee.