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The IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme Engages With the Needs of SIDS

Speakers at the SIDS meeting, June 2016.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are low-lying coastal countries that share similar sustainable development challenges including small populations, limited resources, remoteness, susceptibility to natural disasters and vulnerability to external shocks. They are a recognised category of United Nations membership to address these specific needs. In this context, and over the last few years, the IAEA has seen an increased membership from SIDS.

Recognising the specific developmental challenges of being small in size and with common needs, as well as with specific needs in many of the IAEA’s programmatic areas, the Technical Cooperation Divisions of both Asia Pacific (TCAP) and Latin America and the Caribbean (TCLAC) hosted in Vienna a three-day meeting, between 27-30 June 2016, with the support of the Government of Australia.

During the meeting, representatives of Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Barbados, Fiji and Marshal Islands, regional organisations- such as the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Pacific Community (SPC) in addition to developmental partners -such as WHO, UNDP, UNIDO and UNEP- as well as representatives of the Permanent Missions of Australia, United States, United Kingdom, the Republic of Korea and Japan,  discussed how the IAEA TC programme can effectively contribute to the specific needs of SIDS.

The sessions presented, through discussions with Technical Departments and visits to IAEA laboratories the potential of nuclear applications to the developmental context of SIDS. Particular focus was placed on the areas of food security, human health, marine environment as well as exploring complementarity and partnership possibilities. Moreover, participants contributed to the draft proposals on the Technical Cooperation for SIDS, to be further discussed in November at an interregional meeting of SIDS representatives.