Several of the participants in a 17-member international working group convened by Partnership for a Secure America briefed the diplomatic community in Vienna on the group’s study about how the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) could work with non-state partners to enhance funding for the two activities of the IAEA that are traditionally under-funded: nuclear security and technical cooperation projects.
The working group, composed of former ambassadors to and senior officials of the Agency, concluded that the IAEA must develop a comprehensive fundraising strategy with strong support from the IAEA Director General, it should build a global leadership team that includes corporate leaders with a strategic interest in the Agency’s work, and it should develop its public face as have some other agencies in the UN family such as UNICEF.
Ambassador John Bernhard, former Permanent Representative of Denmark to the IAEA, discussed the Working Group’s conclusion that as the IAEA’s programs expand, its resources must also grow. The Agency should devise a fundraising strategy that can drive resource growth, and the strategy must receive the Director General’s commitment.The IAEA’s peer UN organization, UNICEF, has built a powerful brand through voluntary contributions that the IAEA can seek to emulate.
James Casterton, former Nuclear Counsellor at the Canadian Mission in Vienna, elaborated on the need for the Agency to enhance its brand and its ability to be a good partner for potential donors. The Agency must position itself so that it can match its objectives to those of potential donors, and it should explore ways to measure the impact of donations.
Dr. Massoud Samiei, former Programme Director for the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), discussed lessons he learned while leading the IAEA’s PACT project. He observed that there are some very simple steps that the Agency can take that will allow it to accept funds from nontraditional sources, such as streamlining the process for giving donations to the Agency in cash or with a credit card.
Dr. Roger Howsley, the co-founder and Executive Director of the World Institute for Nuclear Security, noted that the Agency could benefit from serious consideration of the experience of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). which implemented mandatory minimum aviation security standards, and actually made these standards profitable by partnering with firms offering aviation security certifications. The Agency, Dr. Howsley noted, could use a similar approach to nuclear security standards and training.
After the presentation, the four panelists engaged with members of the diplomatic community present in a question-and-answer session.