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National Liaison Officers Meet in Cyprus to Review, Design and Agree on Proposed Regional Projects

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National Liaison Officers and National Liaison Assistants met in Nicosia, Cyprus to prepare the 2020-2021 technical cooperation programme for Europe. (Photo: A. Khatukhov/IAEA)

Each year, the IAEA’s Department of Technical Cooperation organizes a meeting to convene the National Liaison Officers (NLOs) and Assistants (NLAs) of Member States in Europe and Central Asia to review, revise and recommit themselves to the implementation of the technical cooperation programme. This year, on 3 and 4 April, IAEA staff met with counterparts from the Europe and Central Asia region in Nicosia, Cyprus to review the Strategic Framework for the technical cooperation programme in the Europe region and—through a mechanism unique to the Technical Cooperation Division for Europe—to rank the proposed regional project designs by quality and by priority.

Reflecting the continuous efforts made by the IAEA to facilitate closer, more effective cooperation among its Member States, the NLO meeting began with a comprehensive assessment of regional technical cooperation projects which have been proposed for implementation during the 2020-2021 TC Cycle. The attending Liaison Officers and Assistants reviewed 17 regional project designs and used their wealth of accumulated experience to identify designs to move forwards for approval as part of the 2020-2021 TC Cycle.

The IAEA’s technical cooperation programme is developed by Member States on the basis of their priorities and needs. During the meeting, the 17 project designs were presented by the delegates for discussion and for prioritization.

“All aspects of the technical cooperation programme in Europe, from planning and coordination to implementation, rely on the National Liaison Office,” said Ana Raffo-Caiado, Director of the Technical Cooperation Division for Europe. “The participatory process of ranking regional project designs not only encourages greater ownership of the programme by our counterparts, but greater engagement with it, as well,” Ms Raffo-Caiado continued.

Following discussions at the meeting, 12 projects were identified by the attending NLOs and NLAs to be proposed for the 2020 – 2021 TC cycle. The proposed projects address a broad variety of subjects from nuclear applications in medicine to radioactive waste management, and will be submitted to the IAEA Board of Governors for approval. 

National Liaison Officers and Assistants from 29 Member States in the Europe region attended the meeting, including delegates from: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Republic of North Macedonia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The Role of National Liaison Officers

The NLO is the primary contact person between the IAEA and the Member State on matters relating to the IAEA, in particular the TC programme. The efficient and effective planning, formulation and management of the TC programme, and other related IAEA activities, depend heavily on the input of the NLO.

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