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Final Session of Webinar Series on the Technical Cooperation Programme, Strengthening the Participation in Latin America and the Caribbean


The National Liaison Officer is the primary contact person between the IAEA and a Member State on matters relating to the IAEA, in particular the TC programme. (Photo: O. Yusuf/IAEA)

The IAEA has just concluded a series of six webinars, held from 21 May to 30 July, to train nearly 70 recently-assigned and experienced National Liaison Officers (NLOs), National Liaison Assistants (NLAs), as well as National Coordinators under the ARCAL Agreement (NCAs), and to equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to execute their role as interlocutors between their national governments and the IAEA Secretariat.

“In their roles, NLOs, NLAs, and NCAs, as well as the members of the Permanent Missions to the IAEA, all provide essential guidance and coordination which leads to the successful planning and implementation of the Agency's technical cooperation programme,” said Luis Carlos Longoria Gandara, Director of the TCLAC Division, during a round-table discussion held as part of the final webinar session.

NLO training is usually delivered in a single, week-long event at the IAEA’s Vienna headquarters, but this year’s NLO training event was held remotely across a period of two months. The course included an overview of the guiding principles and the objectives of both the technical cooperation programme and the ARCAL Regional Agreement, highlighting the contribution of nuclear science and technology to socio-economic development. Subsequent webinars explored how projects are financed, monitored and evaluated to ensure their quality and impact. Finally, participating NLOs received hands-on training in the use of the digital tools and systems used to manage and implement the programme.

The final session of the six-part webinar series concluded with a roundtable discussion, presided over by Luis Carlos Longoria Gandara, Director of the TCLAC Division. (Photo: O. Yusuf/IAEA)

“During a time of physical distancing, this webinar series has provided a valuable opportunity to engage closely with our stakeholders and partners from the region to discuss the present efforts, as well as future prospects, of the programme,” said Director Longoria.

At the concluding webinar on 30 July, any questions related to the previous sessions, or indeed on any other matters connected to the IAEA technical cooperation programme, were addressed in an interactive session with senior staff of the Division for Latin America and the Caribbean.

All sessions of the webinar series were delivered in Spanish and were designed to provide a complete description of the TC programme’s procedures and operating components, focusing on the most essential timelines and milestones for TC planning, design and implementation. To support the virtual events with practical, real-world examples, IAEA experts were joined by five veteran National Liaison Officers throughout the webinar series—one at each session. These NLOs included Juan Pablo Parra of Colombia, Susana Gonzales of Peru, Ronald Veizaga of Bolivia, Melina Belinco of Argentina, and Lesly Sanchez, the NLA and ARCAL Coordinator for Honduras. The recorded webinar sessions are available online here.

NLO training is usually delivered in a single, week-long event at the IAEA’s Vienna headquarters, but this year’s NLO training event was held remotely across a period of two months. (Photo: O. Yusuf/IAEA)

“The knowledge shared through these virtual sessions and the exchange of experiences between the NLOs of the region have encouraged us to consolidate our commitment to achieve the goals of ongoing and future projects, for the benefit of our country,” said Margot Torres, the National Liaison Assistant of Panama.

At the conclusion of the meeting, participants were invited to propose new measures, procedures and best practices to more closely align the work of both the technical cooperation programme and the corresponding National Liaison Offices. In this vein, the launch of an online forum hosted by the IAEA is expected in the coming weeks, dedicated to fostering and facilitating the exchange of experiences and lessons learned among the NLO and NLA network.

Given the success of the webinar series, planning is also underway for the delivery of similar webinars in English, focusing on Caribbean countries, in order to maximize the effect of National Liaison Offices across the region.

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