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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 22, 1977


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    Discussion from the meeting of the Committee for Administrative and Budgetary Matters of the IAEA.
    "Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Vienna to Romulus Neagu," April 22, 1977, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archives of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Folder 3882/1977. Translated by Eliza Gheorghe.
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Telegram 082760

From Romanian Embassy in Vienna

To comrade Romulus Neagu

Date: April 22, 1977

Classification: Secret

Regarding: IAEA

The meeting of the Committee for Administrative and Budgetary Matters took place on April 19-21; our country will join this body in September this year.

Besides the technical aspects discussed in 1976 and the financial project for 1978, the talks were political in nature, and took place between the developing countries that have coordinated their position and the Western countries. The most firm and active countries were Pakistan, Nigeria, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brazil, and the most rigid ones were the US, Canada, and Japan. The socialist delegations were basically nonexistent, not speaking up even when they were directly called upon. Unlike in previous years, India took a low profile due to the fact that the new government’s nuclear policy is still being decided.

Highlights of the debates:

a. The developing countries criticized the tendency to shift the agency’s activities away from the main objective of promoting nuclear energy for peaceful uses to safeguards. They mentioned the risks of perpetuating this approach, emphasizing the fact that the majority of the members’ interests in being part of the organization is directly linked to the extent to which the Agency’s statutory mission is respected. They were categorically in favor of a net increase of the resources for technical assistance and reducing those for safeguards.

All developing countries unanimously emphasized the need to gradually assure a balance between the activities and the resources for technical assistance and safeguards, putting forward a few ideas: increasing the funds for assistance and safeguards at the same rate (an idea proposed by the Philippines), adopting a new decision so that the resources for assistance increase at the same rate as the ordinary budget (an idea proposed by Pakistan), establishing higher threshold for the voluntary contributions out of which technical assistance is being financed (approximately $10 million) etc. The US, Japan, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), France, Canada, and other Western states were against linking the level of technical assistance to the level of safeguards or ordinary budget, as well as the gradual growth of the voluntary contributions, insisting that socialist countries should pay more in convertible currency. This matter will be discussed again in June, at the Board of Governors Meeting, when it is hoped that they will reach a $5-7 million threshold for voluntary contributions for 1978.

Hoping to moderate the developing countries’ attitude, the US representative mentioned the substantial American contribution for 1977($4,297,600) during the meeting, and the FRG and Canadian representatives let everyone know that their governments analyze the measures needed to finalize all the technical assistance projects for this year, even the ones for which they do not have resources.

b. The Westerners and the Third World countries raised the issue of the agency’s reserve of non-convertible currency (almost $4 million), asking for measures to ensure their spending and future payment of all voluntary contributions in convertible currency, except for the voluntary contributions made by the less developed countries.  In this respect, a special call was made to socialist countries.

At the US’s suggestion, it was decided that the problem will be debated by the Board in June, when the Director General will present a study regarding several non-convertible currencies owned by the agency and how they can be used (the Soviet Union was the focus of attention in this respect).

c. All delegations were against increasing the agency’s budget, asking the Director General to suggest a more reasonable growth than the one suggested for 1978 (21.7 %).

Gh. Florescu