The IAEA technical cooperation (TC) programme is the main mechanism through which the IAEA delivers services to its Member States. Through the programme, the IAEA helps Member States to build, strengthen and maintain capacities in the safe, peaceful and secure use of nuclear technology in support of sustainable socioeconomic development. TC projects provide expertise in fields where nuclear techniques offer advantages over other approaches, or where nuclear techniques can usefully supplement conventional means. All Member States are eligible for support, although in practice technical cooperation activities tend to focus on the needs and priorities of less developed countries.
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The TC programme is unique in the United Nations system, as it combines specialised technical and development competencies. The programme focuses on applying nuclear technology to improve human health, support agriculture and rural development, advance water resource management, address environmental challenges, and help sustainable energy development, including the use of nuclear power for electricity. The programme also focuses heavily on supporting nuclear safety and security.
The TC programme operates in four geographic regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Latin America. Within each region, it helps Member states to address their specific needs, taking into consideration existing capacities and different operational conditions. The programme aims to leverage the differences among Member States in the same region by facilitating cooperation between them. For example, the capacities of technically advanced countries can be used to address the needs of less advanced countries.
The TC programme draws its mandate from Article II of the IAEA Statute, which states: “The Agency shall seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world”. The programme’s strategic goal is to promote tangible socioeconomic impact in IAEA Member States, by contributing in a cost-effective way to the achievement of the major sustainable development priorities of each country.
The TC programme is developed and managed jointly by the Member States and the IAEA Secretariat. All IAEA Departments play a role in the programme, whether in its development, implementation, monitoring or evaluation. The IAEA technical Departments are responsible for the technical integrity of the TC programme.
Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications
Department of Nuclear Energy
Department of Nuclear Safety and Security
Department of Safeguards
The TC Programme is prepared, appraised, implemented and evaluated in accordance with the provisions of the Agency's Statute, the Technical Cooperation Strategy (GOV/INF/824), the Technical Cooperation Strategy - 2002 Review (GOV/INF/2002/8/Mod.1), the IAEA Medium Term Strategy (2012-2017) and the Revised Guiding Principles and General Operating Rules to Govern the Provision of Technical Assistance by the Agency (INFCIRC/267), and in accordance with relevant directives of the General Conference and the Board of Governors.