IAEA: South-South & Triangular Cooperation Featured Partner

About IAEA

With 172 Member States, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the world’s principal forum for scientific and technical cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology. Its mission is underpinned by three main areas of work: non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, ensuring the safety and security of nuclear facilities and nuclear applications, and supporting the peaceful uses of nuclear technology.

As developing countries have built their national capacities and institutions to apply and develop nuclear technologies, the IAEA has placed further emphasis on developing South-South and triangular cooperation approaches. 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 neighboring 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 the Member States.

Throughout the years, developing country counterparts have consistently encouraged the strengthening of these approaches as a mechanism, for example, to provide support to the least developed countries. Reflecting this policy direction, the IAEA’s overall Technical Cooperation Strategy and the IAEA Medium-Term Strategy for the period 2018 to 2023 provide the strategic framework to incorporate South-South and triangular cooperation approaches into programmatic activities.

IAEA and SSC & Triangular Cooperation

The following are some key partnerships in the IAEA Technical Cooperation (TC) Programme’s SSC and triangular cooperation strategy. This section lists the four main regional arrangements, describes the regional networks and discusses some of the programme’s other key partners. The IAEA TC programme has developed effective partnerships with international and regional organizations, research institutes, academia and the private sector. The TC programme applies South-South and triangular cooperation approaches through regional projects with countries, which are implemented primarily under four regional or cooperative arrangements:

IAEA Regional Cooperative Agreements

African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA)

Cooperative Agreement for Arab States in Asia for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (ARASIA)

Regional Cooperation Agreement for the Promotion of Nuclear Science and Technology in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARCAL)

Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology for Asia and the Pacific (RCA)

These projects bring together countries at different stages of technological development and offer a framework for adopting South-South and triangular cooperation approaches through pooling resources, facilitating the sharing of knowledge, experience and technology, and supporting networking and cooperation among countries and institutions. At present, the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme has around 65 active partnership agreements supporting initiatives voluntarily undertaken by governments, intergovernmental organisations, major groups and other stakeholders. In addition, a number of regional networks have been set up under each of the Agreements, with the support of the IAEA. Regional networks on specific topics such as food security and veterinary diagnostics bring together experts from their respective regions to share information and experience. Four regional networks for Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean play a particularly important role in facilitating knowledge transfer and networking in higher education, training and research.

IAEA Collaborating Centres & Regional Training Centres

The IAEA Collaborating Centres and Regional Training Centres located in Member States are also important tools for supporting the application of South-South and triangular cooperation modalities. The IAEA network of Regional Training Centres assist countries to build competence in radiation, transport and waste safety. These centres support the development of competencies by hosting education and training events, promoting IAEA safety standards and providing expertise. The centres also promote and expand education and training networks, organize fellowship programmes and regional workshops, and prepare and translate educational materials.

The centres play an important role in the implementation of the Agency’s Strategic Approach to Education and Training in Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety, 2011-2020.

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In addition, the IAEA cooperates closely with other UN agencies, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This strategic partnership enables the two organizations to work in synergy through joint programming based on their complementary mandates and common goals. The work carried out has had a tangible socioeconomic impact at the national, regional and global levels, contributing to food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods.

The Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture advances and supports the safe and appropriate use by FAO and IAEA Member States of nuclear and related technologies in food and agriculture, aiming to contribute to global food security and sustainable agricultural development worldwide. It does so through adaptive research and development at its own laboratories in Seibersdorf as well as through annual support and coordination of more than 25 coordinated research projects involving some 400 research institutions and experimental stations; capacity-building and technology transfer to over 200 national and regional technical cooperation projects; and technical and policy advice to policymakers.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is another key partner, with whom the IAEA works closely on issues related to cancer and non-communicable diseases. The IAEA/WHO Network of Secondary Standard Dosimetry Laboratories (SSDL Network), established in 1976, is an important element of this partnership. It was set up to improve accuracy in radiation dosimetry, which is essential in radiation therapy for cancer patients.

The Network promotes cooperation among its members, with the aim of facilitating the exchange of experiences and mutual support where possible. WHO has also worked with the IAEA to conduct over 100 assessments of a country’s capacity to provide cancer control services. These ‘imPACT Reviews’ have been providing national authorities with recommendations to help them plan and address national cancer priorities and needs since 2005.

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Featured Publications

IAEA Technical Cooperation Report for 2019

South-South in Action: Sustainable Development through the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Science & Technology

Atoms for Peace and Development: How the IAEA supports the Sustainable Development Goals

IAEA Technical Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific