|This year, the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology for Asia and the Pacific (RCA) marks 40 years of endeavours. The celebration of the 40th anniversary of the RCA was launched with an RCA exhibition in connection with the 34th Meeting of National RCA Representatives Meeting (NRM) held in Beijing, China, from 17 - 20 April 2012. The event was hosted by the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA).
Established in 1972, the RCA is the oldest regional cooperative agreement within the framework of the IAEA. The sustained commitment of its Member States has made it a highly effective mechanism for successful regional cooperation.
|The IAEA Member States work together within Regional Cooperation Agreements to plan and implement activities addressing regional development needs and priorities through the peaceful use of nuclear technology. The agreements seek to promote joint efforts to solve common problems and to stimulate technical cooperation among developing countries (TCDC) through exchange of information and technical know-how, expanded networking and partnerships across regions.
The RCA anniversary exhibition was organized at the China National Convention Center (CNCC) in Beijing. The exhibition presents the thriving cooperation between RCA Member States during the last 40 years and aims to raise awareness of RCA successes and achievements and to inform potential partners about RCA activities.
The exhibition touches on four thematic areas where the RCA has had remarkable achievements using nuclear technology: human health, food and agriculture water and environment, and industry. In addition, a fifth display introduces the RCA itself. The materials were prepared based on the information and inputs provided by the RCA Member States.
The occasion gathered more than 100 distinguished participants. These included the National RCA Representatives, or their representatives, of all the 17 RCA Member States and the representative from the RCA Regional Office. The IAEA was represented by Mr. Kwaku Aning, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Technical Cooperation Department, Mr. Ali Boussaha, Director for the Asia and the Pacific Division, and Mr. Kesrat Sukasam, RCA-Focal Person. Other participants included representatives from Nepal and the Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA). Scientists and professionals from the China Atomic Energy Authority and relevant national authorities of China also attended.
Mr. Chen Qiufa, the Chairman of CAEA, and CAEA senior staff attended the opening ceremony together with Mr. Wang Minzheng, General Secretary of CAEA Secretariat.
In his opening statement, Mr. Kwaku Aning indicated that the sustained commitment of the RCA Member States had made it a highly effective mechanism for successful regional cooperation. He emphasized the importance of continuous technical cooperation among developing countries in Asia and the Pacific region, and of triangular cooperation between developing and developed countries. He encouraged RCA to build bridges with the other regional cooperative agreements (AFRA, ARASIA, and ARCAL) to share good practices, experiences and expertise beyond the regions.
The annual NRM event provides all RCA Members with an opportunity to discuss ways and means to maximize the impact of cooperative activities within the RCA. The deliberations at the 34th NRM were very fruitful. The meeting reached an agreement on the procedures and modalities for enhancing the effectiveness of the RCA programme planning and implementation, and also reached a consensus and approved the follow up action plan and milestone developments.
Celebrations of the 40th Anniversary of the RCA are expected to continue at both the regional and national levels. The anniversary event will also take place at the IAEA Headquarters during the 56th IAEA General Conference in September 2012, which will present RCA achievements to the General Conference participants.
The Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology for Asia and the Pacific (RCA) is an intergovernmental agreement among IAEA Member States of the Asia and the Pacific region. The agreement provides a framework for IAEA Member States in the region to cooperate with each other in order to promote and coordinate cooperative research, development, and training projects in nuclear science and technology through the appropriate national institutions.
The RCA programme responds to common regional needs, addressing priority development issues such as the management of groundwater resources, crop improvement, animal disease control, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, industrial quality control, environmental protection, and marine resource management. These priorities provide the strategic framework for the formulation of RCA projects within the IAEA TC programme.
17 Member States are signatory to the RCA including Australia, Bangladesh, the Peoples’ Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.