International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
1. What decisions or new strategies has the governing body of your organization taken to guide the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs? Please provide a brief summary below, including the overarching vision of your governing body for the Decade of Action on the SDGs.
The statutory objective of the IAEA is to seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world. The IAEA makes peaceful nuclear technology available to help developing countries improve access to radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients, generate electricity, grow more food, combat animal diseases, manage water supplies, and protect the environment.
The policy-making organs of the IAEA, the General Conference and the Board of Governors, have tasked the Secretariat to work closely with Member States and other relevant partners to help countries to implement the 2030 Agenda, in accordance with their national priorities. The Secretariat has also been requested to collaborate with multilateral financial institutions, regional development bodies and other relevant entities and to participate in UN processes such as the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
The IAEA’s Medium-Term Strategy 2018-2023 sets out six strategic objectives across all IAEA programmes in order to respond to current and evolving Member States’ needs and priorities: facilitating access to nuclear power and other nuclear technologies; strengthening promotion and development of nuclear science, technology, and applications; improving nuclear safety and security; providing effective technical cooperation; delivering effective and efficient Agency safeguards; providing effective, efficient and innovative management and sound programme and budget planning.
The strategy states that “special emphasis will be placed on maintaining and further enhancing the capacities for delivery of the Agency’s programme and its priority goals, thus making an important contribution to the achievement of the SDGs by Member States”.
2. At the secretariat level, what steps has your organization taken (or will it take) in the follow-up to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs? Please specify actions, including but not limited to the following areas:
2.1 SDG-specific strategies, plans or work programmes;
In planning the IAEA’s Programme and Budget and the Technical Cooperation programme for 2018-2019 and 2020-2021, the IAEA considered the relevance of its programmes to the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and the SDGs.
At the national level, the IAEA and Member States apply strategic programming tools such as Country Programme Frameworks (CPF) which cover the projects envisaged for a given Member State. The CPF template and guidelines have been revised to better link the outcomes of the programme with national development plans, with the national sustainable development goals and targets as well as with the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework. A guide has also been developed linking the IAEA’s support to the relevant SDGs and a training module for IAEA project teams addressing the interlinkages across SDGs and targets is under development.
The IAEA plays a major role in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs). It also helps Member States to formulate energy strategies and, if they decide, to consider adding nuclear power to their energy mix, providing energy models, comprehensive information and tailored training tools. Analytical work is also carried out on the contribution of nuclear energy to SDG objectives, such as SDG7, SDG8 and SDG13. The IAEA responds quickly to crises, for example helping countries use nuclear techniques to diagnose the Coronavirus and Ebola virus or to determine the safety of schools and hospitals damaged in earthquakes.
2.2 Aligning the structure of the organization with the SDGs and the transformative features of the 2030 Agenda, including any challenges and lessons learned in doing so;
No change to the organization's structure was considered necessary to support Member States in implementing the 2030 Agenda and achieving the SDGs.
2.3 Readjusting or updating results-based budgeting and management, including performance indicators;
The IAEA continues to apply a results-based management approach to its programmes.
2.4 Action to enhance support to the principle of "leaving no one behind" and to integrated policy approaches;
2.5 Action to address the interlinkages across SDG goals and targets;
s part of its capacity building efforts in support of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, the IAEA is developing a training module for project teams on interlinkages across SDGs and targets.
3. What normative, analytical, technical assistance or capacity building activities is your organization providing to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs? Please provide a brief account of the activities you have organized or intend to undertake, including but not limited to the following areas:
3.1 Enhancing national implementation including by supporting the mainstreaming of the SDGs in development plans and policies or through national sustainable development plans/strategies;
Most of these activities are carried out through the IAEA Technical Cooperation programme or under the IAEA Regular Budget, as described below.
The IAEA Technical Cooperation programme serves as the major vehicle for technology transfer and capacity building; it consists of national, regional and interregional projects in areas in which nuclear techniques can make a valuable contribution, such as reducing hunger, fighting cancer, managing water resources, tackling pollution of the oceans, ensuring sustainable energy supplies and responding to climate change.
The IAEA has aligned the Country Programme Framework (its medium-term technical cooperation strategic planning and programming tool) with national development priorities to ensure leveraging of resources within and beyond the national context.
3.2 Mainstreaming the SDGs in sectoral strategies, including specific SDG/target strategies;
The IAEA provides support in areas such as climate change, for example, by enabling countries to use nuclear techniques to develop robust varieties of food crops such as rice and barley that can thrive in more challenging conditions. The IAEA works closely with Member States, relevant UN organizations and other actors in disseminating information about nuclear applications that can help to address climate change and contribute to the advancement of the SDG’s.
3.3 Supporting the strengthening of national institutions for more integrated solutions;
3.4 Data and statistical capacity building;
Since 1959, the IAEA has maintained a register of radiotherapy hospitals and clinical institutions having radionuclide and high-energy teletherapy machines. The IAEA global Directory of Radiotherapy Centres (DIRAC), first edited in 1968, is continuously updated based on replies from countries to IAEA questionnaires and is available online. It includes data not only on teletherapy machines, but also on sources and devices used in brachytherapy, and on equipment for dosimetry, patient dose calculation and quality assurance.
The IAEA helps to build countries’ capacity to use isotopic and nuclear techniques to generate accurate scientific data for informed and evidence-based policy formulation and decision-making, for example to assess the impact of climate change on land-water ecosystem interaction (in cooperation with the FAO).
Energy data and statistics are used extensively in the energy modelling and planning services provided by the IAEA.
3.5 Harnessing science, technology and innovation for the SDGs;
Building capacity in Member States on the use of nuclear science in areas such as human and animal health, food and nutrition, climate adaptation, monitoring and mitigation, energy and nuclear waste management and transferring the related technologies to Member States are at the heart of the IAEA’s mandate.
The IAEA’s work on sharing information, promoting dialogue between scientists and policymakers and providing technical advice to national counterparts strengthens the science-policy interface and supports informed decision-making.
For example, the IAEA is working with Member States on scientific, technological and innovative approaches to support the development of innovative reactor and fuel cycle technologies, as well as non-power applications. This work includes the development of Small Modular Reactors, the integration of nuclear power and renewables in low carbon electricity systems, and the production of hydrogen, process heat or desalinated water using nuclear reactors, all of which contribute to SDG-related objectives.
3.6 Multi-stakeholder partnerships;
The IAEA maintains numerous collaborative relationships with UN partners, multilateral and bilateral organisations and donors, academia, research institutions and the private sector in order to maximise the impact of its technical assistance.
The Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture at the Agency’s headquarters in Vienna is a unique partnership within the UN system. In the field of comprehensive cancer control, the IAEA works closely with IARC and WHO. Under the UN Joint Global Programme on Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control, the IAEA and six other UN agencies have established a 5- year Joint Programme to prevent and control cervical cancer.
A number of formal partnership arrangements are in place with other UN Agencies, bilateral and multilateral bodies and research institutes. In order to enhance country level collaboration, the IAEA had signed 55 UN Cooperation Frameworks and UNDAFs by the end of 2019.
The Agency is also engaged in partnerships aimed at helping Member States to address synergies between the SDGs and the Paris Agreement in the field of integrated energy planning, involving UN Regional Commissions, UNDESA and IRENA and various research institutes.
3.7 Bolstering local action and supporting sub-national plans/strategies and implementation for the SDGs;
3.8 Leveraging interlinkages across SDG goals and targets;The IAEA works on interlinkages across SDG goals and targets in the areas of food, energy and water. It contributes to the development of non-power applications of nuclear technology for ensuring clean water, affordable and clean energy, economic growth and climate action.
3.9 Supporting policies and strategies to leave no one behind;
3.10 Supporting the mobilization of adequate and well-directed financing;The IAEA provides analytical and technical assistance to help Member States to mobilize additional resources from both traditional and non-traditional donors for the implementation of their programmes. Between 2012 and 2019, for example, the IAEA supported Benin, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Eswatini, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Sierra Leone and the United Republic of Tanzania in developing bankable documents to raise funds for improved cancer control.
3.11 Reducing disaster risk and building resilience;
3.12 Supporting international cooperation and enhancing the global partnership;South-South and triangular cooperation play an important role in enhancing the impact and sustainability of the IAEA’s contribution to sustainable development. The Agency works closely with four regional cooperative agreements: the Cooperative Agreement for Arab States in Asia (ARASIA), the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research (AFRA), the Regional Cooperation Agreement for Latin America and the Caribbean (ARCAL), and the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Asia and the Pacific (RCA). These cooperative agreements play a major role in helping to strengthen learning and exchange among IAEA Member States. In addition, the IAEA encourages countries which are more advanced in the use of nuclear technology to share their expertise with countries which have more limited capacity, for example by training medical physicists and radiation oncologists. IAEA technical meetings and the Coordinated Research Projects mechanism provide a venue for international cooperation and the establishment of networks among practitioners in various specialist nuclear fields.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been provided assistance to its Member States by providing expertise, guidance and equipment related to virus detection using the real time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique. Diagnostic kits and accessories needed for analysis, disposable protective gear and other necessary machines and equipment for molecular detection of the specific viral genome have been supplied.
The IAEA has had the benefit of our previous experience of providing emergency assistance during outbreaks of zoonotic diseases such as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 (2003), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-SARS-CoV-1 (2003), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome MERS (2016); Ebola (2014, 2018) and Zika (2016). But the scale this time was manifestly much larger. The Technical Cooperation project which the Board approved in 2019 specifically to deal with such situations has today become the biggest TC Project in the history of the Agency, both in terms of the amount of funding and the number of beneficiary Member States. The IAEA has mobilized new resources with voluntary contributions reaching €22 million provided by 12 Member States and some private companies.
The IAEA, in collaboration with the FAO, has provided guidance on coronavirus detection to laboratory professionals worldwide. The Agency’s guidance and support include the provision of Standard Operating Procedures to identify the virus following WHO recommendations. The IAEA is also conducting webinars to help health care providers around the world to adjust their SOPs to cope with the pandemic so that they can continue to deliver their services while protecting patients, staff and the public. Practical videos on sample collection, handling, processing, the use of personal protective equipment and RT-PCR use for detection and FAQs on RT-PCR have been produced in audio format.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of a coordinated response by the UN and other organizations. The IAEA’s longstanding partnerships with FAO and WHO proved critical in the context of coordinated assistance. These partnerships have been taken further in the COVID-19 response. The IAEA is now regularly participating as a member in meetings of the WHO-led Covid- 19 Crisis Management Team, which includes fourteen United Nations entities. The IAEA is also regularly participating in meetings of the UN Supply Chain Task Force PPE Procurement Reference Group led by UNICEF and WHO.
By May 2020, the IAEA has dispatched testing equipment to 164 laboratories. More than 1,000 Purchase Orders were placed for the purchase of consignments for 241 laboratories in 119 countries.
4. The high-level political forum (HLPF) is the central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Has your organization participated in or supported the work of the HLPF? If yes, please specify your involvement in the following areas:
4.1 Supporting the intergovernmental body of your organization in contributing to the thematic review of the HLPF;
4.2 Contributing to policy/background briefs for the HLPF;
4.3 Helping organize SDG-specific events in the preparatory process;
4.4 Organizing side events or speaking at the HLPF;The IAEA has participated in HLPF sessions and contributed to the assessment of the SDGs under review. During the HLPF 2019, under the auspices of the General Assembly, the IAEA participated in the UN System Exhibit on SDG Good Practices and Actions for a Decade of Delivery.
4.5 Supporting the VNR process.
5. How has your organization cooperated with other UN system organizations to achieve coherence and synergies in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs? In this regard, has your organization launched or intend to launch any joint programmes or projects in collaboration with other UN entities? Are there any results or lessons you would like to highlight that might help improve the design and impact of such efforts? Has your organization participated in any of the following coordination systemwide mechanisms or any other relevant platform - CEB, UNSDG, EC-ESA Plus, regional coordination meetings, UN-Energy, UN-Water, UN-Ocean, IAEG, IATT? Please specify which and indicate any suggestions you may have about improving collaborations within and across these mechanisms/platforms.Cooperation with UN system organisations is a critical component of the work of the IAEA in supporting Member States on implementation of the 2030 Agenda and of the SDGs. Key partners include FAO, UNESCO, WHO and UNICEF. In cancer control reviews, IAEA expert teams includes participants from WHO and the IARC to assess countries’ capabilities and needs and advise on the integration of radiation medicine into national cancer control plans. The IAEA attends CEB meetings and its Committees (HLCP and HLCM). It collaborates with UN-Energy, UN-Ocean as well as multiple task forces, working groups and inter-agency teams on different topics.
6. How has your organization engaged with stakeholder groups, both in supporting implementation at the country, regional and global levels, and within your own organization? If yes, please provide main highlights, including any lessons learned. If your organization has established any multi-stakeholder partnerships to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, please describe them and how their performances are being monitored and reviewed.The IAEA engages with numerous partners to develop and implement its programme and projects. For example, the IAEA and the African Union Commission task force developed an action plan in February 2019 encompassing joint activities in priority areas involving the AUC 2063 Agenda, the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. In Latin America and the Caribbean, a collaborative process guides the common work of the IAEA, Member States and regional institutions such as CARICOM.
7. Has your organization organized any conferences, forums or events designed to facilitate exchange of experience, peer and mutual learning in connection with the SDGs? If yes, please provide a brief summary, below and include lessons learned and gaps identified based on the outcomes of these events. Please also include any events you want to organize in the coming years.
The IAEA organises numerous conferences and seminars for Permanent Missions and IAEA national liaison officers to strengthen the alignment of the technical cooperation programme with national development priorities including the relevant SDGs.
In September 2019, the annual IAEA Scientific Forum focused on ‘A Decade of Action on Cancer Control and the Way Forward’. That same month, an event organized by the IAEA together with Women in Nuclear, a world-wide association of women working in nuclear energy and applications, highlighted the inequalities faced by female cancer patients in developing countries.
Events have also been held on cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disorders and infectious diseases.
In October 2019, the IAEA organised the International Conference on Climate Change and the Role of Nuclear Power. The IAEA provides interested Member States with guidance and assistance on deploying safe, secure and safeguarded nuclear technology and in formulating national energy strategies and policies. Supporting Member States in the attainment of the United Nations climate change targets and the SDGs is thus closely aligned with the statutory objective of the IAEA — to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.
A Technical Meeting is planned for October 2020 on improving nutrient composition and bioavailability in foods in the context of climate change.