The IAEA – Sustainable Development through the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Science and Technology (2019)

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) are pleased to jointly present this volume of South-South in Action. This is the first report of the IAEA on South-South and triangular cooperation. The Agency greatly welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the South-South in Action series.

The IAEA, while perhaps best known as the world’s “nuclear watchdog”, has a long history of helping countries to achieve their development goals. For more than 60 years, it has worked to make nuclear science and technology available to developing countries in ways that make a real difference to the lives of their people.

Many developing countries have acquired a high level of expertise in nuclear technology in areas such as human health and agriculture, and many actively support neighbouring countries, for example by providing training on nuclear techniques to doctors and scientists. There are numerous excellent examples of South-South cooperation in the use of peaceful nuclear technology. This makes a vital contribution to helping the Agency to deliver its support to Member States.

Since 2015, helping countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals using relevant nuclear technology has been an important part of the Agency’s work. In fact, the IAEA helps countries to use nuclear science and technology to meet at least nine of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals directly, including those aimed at ending hunger, improving human health, increasing the availability of clean water and, of course, increasing access to affordable and clean energy. This report provides an overview of the IAEA achievements to date.

In implementing its Atoms for Peace and Development mandate, the Agency works closely with Member States, United Nations partners and development agencies. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has created significant momentum for the IAEA by highlighting the importance of scientific and technological innovation in accelerating sustainable development. Nuclear science and technology are already making a major contribution and their potential is enormous.

The Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation to be held in March 2019 will provide an occasion to reflect on the progress made since the 1978 adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries and to consider new opportunities.

The IAEA is committed to expanding the application of South-South and triangular cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear technology as part of its contribution to global efforts to achieve sustainable development.