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IAEA SIDS Meeting Concludes with Agreement on Way Forward for Proposed Technical Cooperation Project

Participants at the meeting which discussed the proposed IAEA project on SIDS, Sydney, Australia.

Representatives from small island developing States (SIDS) from the Caribbean and the Pacific regions have met from 13 to 17 March 2017 in Sydney, Australia, to finalize the design of a proposed interregional technical cooperation project for SIDS, and to discuss opportunities for partnerships and resource mobilization. The aim of this proposed project is to respond in an effective manner to the unique challenges faced by SIDS, such as small economies of scale and geographic isolation, by providing capacity building support for the application of nuclear science and technology to both complement and enhance existing development programmes. This approach will support IAEA Member States in their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the SAMOA Pathway in areas including the marine environment, cancer, nutrition and food security.

In addition to providing a platform for finalizing the first dedicated interregional project for SIDS, this meeting benefited from the engagement of regional organizations such as the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), the Pacific Community (SPC), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), as well as from regional and international development banks and United Nations agencies.

The IAEA met with partners of the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) to seek cooperation and synergies for the successful implementation of the project. Members of PRIF include, among others, the Asian Development Bank, Australia, the European Union, the European Investment Bank, Japan, New Zealand, the World Bank and the United States, as an observer.. The PRIF members provided valuable inputs regarding existing investments and development programmes in the regions, which significantly facilitated the identification of synergies and provided the necessary backdrop to ensure the complementarity of the interregional project to established development programmes. In addition, countries and organizations expressed their willingness to provide, for example, scholarships to support education and training in areas related to nuclear science and technology, and pledged their support for infrastructure development, complementing IAEA efforts to build capacities for the application of nuclear science and technology in human health, food security and marine environment.

The meeting was a full success and achieved its objectives of finalizing the project document, as well as identifying relevant partners and engaging donors.