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International Conference on the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme: Sixty Years and Beyond – Contributing to Development

8 May 2018
The Proceedings of the International Conference on the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme: Sixty Years and Beyond – Contributing to Development – <a href="https://www-pub.iaea.org/books/IAEABooks/12280/IAEA-Technical-Cooperation-Programme-Sixty-Years-and-Beyond-Contributing-to-Development">are now available online to view and order</a>  
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The TC Conference – the first international IAEA conference dedicated to the Technical Cooperation Programme, took place in Vienna from 30 May to 1 June 2017. The Conference provided an opportunity to take stock of the technical cooperation (TC) programme’s achievements, to discuss partnership opportunities, and to examine the way forward for the TC programme.
IAEA Director General Mr Yukiya Amano delivered remarks to officially open the International TC Conference. Speakers at the high level opening session were H.E. Mr Tabaré Vázquez, President, Eastern Republic of Uruguay; H.E. Ms Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President, Republic of Mauritius; H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Honorable Prime Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh; and H.E. Tebogo Joseph Seokolo, Chairman of the IAEA Board of Governors. 
Mr Tabaré Vázquez, President, Eastern Republic of Uruguay, called for collective commitments and efforts to put nuclear science and technologies at the service of humanity’s progress: “Such a task is not easy, but it is not impossible either. As it also requires collective commitments and efforts, none of those present here can remain unaware of it.”
H.E. Ms Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President, Republic of Mauritius, noted: “Regional and local partnerships are a rich source of knowledge that can help build the scientific capabilities of African institutions […] Only through scientific development will Africa be able to create a pool of human capital capable of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Honorable Prime Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, highlighted the importance of science and technology: “Science, technology and innovation helped us bring development to the doorsteps of rural people in Bangladesh […] The IAEA holds a special place in our country’s development. I call upon developing countries to draw maximum benefits from the peaceful uses of nuclear science.”
Other high level participants included HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, President of the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan: “The variety of applications for the skills and expertise of the IAEA is truly inspiring. The breath of disciplines that you impact on is indeed impressive. You are an inspiration to all of your affiliates who share your commitment to building a society of equal partners in progress, where individuals, regardless of their
backgrounds or occupations, may feel allied in some way to the potential and
promise of science and innovation.”

Over 1200 participants from 160 countries and 27 international organizations attended this historic event, which coincided with the IAEA’s 60th anniversary. 
In total, 19 ministers and heads of state participated in the conference. The first session featured presentations by H.E. Mr Igor Crnadak (Bosnia and Herzegovina), H.E. Ms Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya (Cuba), H.E. Mr Mohamed Hamed Shaker El-Markabi (Egypt), and H.E. Mr Mohammad Nasir (Indonesia) describing the impact of the TC programme on their countries’ development. 
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The other ministers who attended the conference were:
H.E. Mr Abdul Hassan Mahmood Ali MP (Bangladesh); <br>
H.E. Mr. Yeafesh Osman (Bangladesh);<br>
H.E. Mr Alassane Seidou (Benin); <br>
H.E. Mr Charles-Armel Doubane (Central African Republic);<br>
H.E. Ms. Carolina Vasquez (Costa Rica);<br>
H.E. Mr José Antonio Galdames (Honduras); <br>
H.E. Mr. Muhadjir Effendy (Indonesia);<br>
H.E. Mr César Cardozo (Paraguay); <br>
H.E. Mr Florian Dorel Bodog (Romania); <br>
H.E. Mr Mary Teuw Niane (Senegal); <br>
H.E. Mr Rodolfo Nin Novoa (Uruguay); and <br>
H.E. Mr Seremaia Matai Nawalu (Vanuatu). 
The TC programme operates in four geographic regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean. Within each region, the programme helps IAEA Member States and Territories address their specific development needs, taking into consideration existing capacities and different operational conditions. The programme also facilitates cooperation between countries. For example, technically advanced countries can provide support for those that are less advanced.
The conference highlighted the crucial role played by partnerships in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Member States, partners, and the IAEA all benefit from collaboration. New and non-traditional partners, and innovative approaches to fundraising and project implementation are essential for the long-term success of the TC programme . 
In a keynote address during the Conference’s fourth session, Mr Paul Ladd, Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), called for greater recognition of the different assets that governments, the private sector, and civil society can mobilize in development work. 
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A further IAEA round table discussion on the margins of the conference focused on ‘The Role of the Private Sector: Partnerships for Development’. This was an opportunity for Member State delegations and business representatives to discuss the important role of the private sector and social corporate responsibility in contributing to sustainable development. 
Twenty-five Member States seized the opportunity provided by the Conference to showcase TC project achievements, success stories, and positive impacts, all linked directly to the attainment of development objectives such as the SDGs. Member State booths focused on key TC programme topics: agriculture, health, water, the environment, energy, industrial applications and safety. 
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Additionally, nine organizations and eight private sector companies participated in an exhibition focusing on cooperation and partnerships for development.
Member States provided examples of how nuclear techniques are contributing to their national socioeconomic development.
Director General Amano toured Member State exhibitions to hear first-hand about TC programme national projects. Here, a representative from Mexico explains the impact of IAEA-supported activities in achieving key development objectives.  
Mr. Dazhu Yang (third from left), IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation, also toured Member State exhibitions. 
The TC programme booth featured a variety of success stories demonstrating how the programme, the IAEA’s main mechanism for providing services to Member States and Territories, has transferred technology, supported capacity building, and facilitated international cooperation. Together with these on-the-ground efforts to enhance programme visibility and increase awareness of its contribution to socioeconomic development worldwide, Conference-related web articles and social media campaigns—including the #Atoms4Dev2017 hashtag—reached hundreds of thousands of people online.
In parallel with their exhibits, some Member States organized side events. The United Arab Emirates organized a Youth Circle to discuss challenges facing the young generation in the nuclear field. 
Visits to the IAEA’s nuclear applications laboratories in Seibersdorf were organized to allow conference participants to see for themselves how nuclear science and technology can be used to address development challenges. Here, delegates learn how the IAEA/FAO Joint Division helps Member States and Territories achieve food security though techniques like plant mutation breeding. 
The TC Conference reception—attended by 800 delegates—was hosted in the Festsaal at Vienna City Hall. Ms Renate Brauner, Counsellor for Finance, Economics and International Affairs of the City of Vienna, welcomed conference delegates to Vienna. 
The impact and sustainability of IAEA services are extended, and their benefits multiplied, through Practical Arrangements (PAs). During the TC Conference, PAs were signed with the Pacific Community (left), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). These agreements allow partner organizations to better coordinate their activities, and help the IAEA ensure the best possible socioeconomic impact of the TC programme. 
Country Programme Frameworks (CPFs) define mutually-agreed national priority development needs and interests to be supported through IAEA TC programme activities. Eleven CPFs were signed on the margins of the TC Conference, with Benin, Central African Republic, Cuba, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay, and Vanuatu.
If you would like to learn more about the presentations made during the Conference, <a href="https://www.iaea.org/events/technical-cooperation-conference-2017">click here</a> 
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<a href="https://www-pub.iaea.org/books/IAEABooks/12280/IAEA-Technical-Cooperation-Programme-Sixty-Years-and-Beyond-Contributing-to-Development">Click here</a>  to view or order the proceedings from the conference

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