Mar 14, 2014
Three working groups, comprised of 14 representatives from the States Parties and members of the Monitoring Committee of the Regional Co-operative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology for Asia and the Pacific (RCA), have met at IAEA headquarters, Vienna, in February 2014. The working groups were established following a decision taken at the 42nd RCA General Conference Meeting (GCM) in September, where participants agreed to address three major RCA policy issues: the updating of the RCA Guidelines and Operating Rules (GORs); the development of the RCA Medium Term Strategy and Strategic Priorities; and the review of the RCA project concepts for the 2016–2017 IAEA technical cooperation programme cycle.
The working group for the review of the RCA project concepts for the 2016–2017 IAEA TC cycle was led by the Chair of the Monitoring Committee, Dr Frank Bruhn of Australia, and comprised RCA National Representatives (NR) from India and Sri Lanka, and Dr John Easy, member of the RCA Programme Advisory Committee (RCAPAC). The working group evaluated the new project concepts for 2016–2017 and further developed the operating procedures and terms of reference for the RCAPAC. The group also proposed a streamlined process for RCAPAC evaluation of draft RCA project concepts in November 2014.
The second working group was responsible for the review and update of the RCA GORs. This group was chaired by Dr Chris Daughney, the RCA NR of New Zealand, and comprised representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, and Indonesia, the director of RCA Regional Office (RO) from the Republic of Korea, and representatives of the IAEA. The updated GORs were reviewed and circulated as a background document for consideration at the upcoming 36th RCA Meeting of National Representatives (NRM), which will be held 1-4 April 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand.
The third working group deliberated on the development of Medium Term Strategies (MTS) and Strategic Priorities (SP). The group was chaired by Dr Dela Rosa, the RCA NR of Philippines and included representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, China, and Malaysia. The group developed a conceptual paper and action plan for the development of Medium Term Strategies (MTS). This was also circulated as a background document for consideration at the 36th RCA NRM in New Zealand.
During the week-long meeting, the three working groups were able to confer on salient strategic matters and cross cutting issues, working in synergy to enhance the RCA and the RCA programme. The meeting resulted in the delivery of policy documents that will be important for the successful future of RCA. All three working groups achieved their objectives and provided a comprehensive report of their results. These reports were subsequently circulated with the background papers for the upcoming 36th RCA NRM for further discussion and adoption by the meeting.
The Meeting of the RCA Working Groups was organized by the Division for Asia and the Pacific in the Department of Technical Cooperation.
The Regional Co-operative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology for Asia and the Pacific (RCA), established in 1972 under the auspices of the IAEA, is an intergovernmental agreement among the Member States of the IAEA in the Asia and the Pacific region. The parties to this agreement have undertaken to promote and coordinate cooperative research, development and training projects in nuclear science and technology through their appropriate national institutions, in cooperation with each other and the IAEA. The vision of RCA Member States is to be “recognized as an effective partner in providing nuclear technologies that enhance socio-economic wellbeing and contribute to sustainable development in the region”.
The twenty signatories to the RCA at present are: Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palau, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.