Since its launch in 2010, the IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI) has become an important vehicle to raise extrabudgetary contributions for IAEA activities in the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. As an important funding initiative, PUI allows IAEA to implement for the benefit of its Member States additional projects in the peaceful applications of nuclear technology many of which would have otherwise remained unfunded.
Additional resources from the PUI have bolstered the Agency's ability to fulfill its priorities and statutory responsibilities, to respond to Member States' needs and requests for expanded services, and also to respond to unforeseen events and changing priorities.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, in his statements at the 54th and 55th General Conferences, welcomed this "important initiative" and encouraged all countries in a position to do so to contribute to the PUI.
At the same time, resolutions adopted at the past two General Conferences on strengthening the Agency's technical cooperation specifically welcomed the IAEA PUI. The resolution, adopted in 2011, requested the Secretariat to continue to work with all Member States in matching contributions to Member States' needs.
Extrabudgetary contributions made through the PUI have been used to support a wide variety of Agency activities aimed at promoting broad development goals in Member States. They cover areas such as food security, water resource management, human health and nuclear power infrastructure development.
In addition to expanding and strengthening existing services, PUI funds have allowed the Agency to develop new services and to exercise greater flexibility in responding to shifting priorities of Member States as well as to unexpected needs or emergency events.
A good case in point is in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, when PUI contributions from a number of Member States were rapidly mobilized to fund an off-cycle, technical cooperation project. The project was developed in support of a marine benchmark study on the possible impact of the Fukushima radioactive releases in the Asia-Pacific region.
In response to the increasing concern among Member States about climate change, including the threat of ocean acidification due to increased carbon dioxide uptake by the oceans, the Agency has recently established an Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre at the IAEA Environment Laboratories in Monaco. The Centre is being supported by several Member States through the IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative. It will serve the scientific community - as well as policymakers, universities, media and the general public - by facilitating, promoting and communicating global actions on ocean acidification.
Process and Mechanism
PUI funded projects are implemented by the Department of Technical Cooperation as well as by the technical offices in the departments of Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Sciences and Applications.
In response to requests from several Member States, the IAEA has compiled, thematic "packages" for PUI funding, in line with its Medium Term Strategy and the Agency's approved programme. These thematic packages include a number of projects that are unfunded or need extrabudgetary funds to be successfully completed.