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Under the joint FAO/IAEA program on food and agri• culture, nuclear techniques were applied to help solve problems of food production and preservation. This program became even more urgent during 1975 because of concern over a potential world food crisis and of the consequences flowing from the energy situation, particularly rises in costs associated with agricultural production. Special emphasis was given to coordinated research programs on the use of fertilizers in producing legumes such as soybeans, on the efficient use of water, on deficiencies of micronutrients in rice growing, and on the conservation of nitrogen fertilizers.
The physical sciences program stimulates research, fosters information and data exchange, and coordinates and develops the efforts of scientists in different countries in a range of problem areas including the physics and chemistry of fission, the application of nuclear techniques, fusion physics, the practical application of activation analysis, various aspects of the production and utilization of isotopes, the chemistry of nuclear materials, and the dissemination of nuclear data. The Agency began a number of improvements in the facilities of the Seibersdorf Laboratory in response to the recommendations of a group of consultants that had convened in 1974.
The objective of the life sciences program is to foster the development of methods and techniques for the application of radioisotopes in medicine and biology. The Agency began a new program to encourage the use of nuclear techniques in various domains of environmental research and, to a limited extent, continued to implement other projects in the life sciences. The Agency sought, where possible, to transfer responsibility for routine medical and biological applications of nuclear science to WHO. Means of closer cooperation with WHO were discussed at an inter-secretariat meeting at Geneva in April 1975.
Since its initiation in 1970, the Agency's International Nuclear Information System (INIS) has established an excellent record in the collection and dissemination of information on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
At the end of 1975, INIS activities were covering about 90% of the world's literature relating to nuclear information. Scientific bodies in 46 member states and 13 international organizations were providing materials and information to INIS, which prepared bibliographic indexes, assigns keywords, and makes the data available to members on computer tapes or microfiche copies.
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The United States is a strong advocate and supporter of INIS, which continued to demonstrate its usefulness in the international nuclear community.
In connection with the IAEA technical assistance program during 1975, expert services and equipment were provided to member states in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Member states benefited from fellowships offered by the IAEA and by the United States and other concributors. The IAEA also organized a number of interregional specialized training courses and study tours for nationals of developing member states and continued to execute a number of projects funded by the UNDP.
The United States considers it important to assist the Agency in maintaining a balance among the different components of its work. It has therefore consistently supported the IAEA technical assistance program over the years through the provision of experts' services, equipment, and fellowships; through the support of IAEA training courses in the United States; and through cash contributions. The total U.S. voluntary contribution to the IAEA for 1975 was $2.5 million of which $1,106,400 was in cash to the Agency for the benefit of the membership and $1,393,600 was in goods and services to individual members for specific projects.
The IAEA is financed by means of a regular budget and an operational budget. The former is supported largely by assessments levied on member states according to a scale based on the UN scale of assessments modified slightly to reflect the component of safeguards costs. The operational budget, devoted to technical assistance projects, is supported mainly by voluntary contributions from member states.
The 19th General Conference adopted a total regular budget for 1976 of $37,002,000. The U.S. rate on the scale of assessment was established at 27.88% compared to its 1975 rate of 27.9%. The General Conference also allocated $7,072,000 to the Agency's operational program for 1976, of which $5.5 million was to come from voluntary contributions, with the remainder to be funded from other sources.
The consideration of dependent area questions in the United Nations is carried out principally in three bodies--the Trusteeship Council, the General Assembly's Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (Committee of 24) and the General Assembly's Fourth (Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories) Committee.
Chapter XII of the UN Charter set up the international trusteeship system and Chapter XIII created the Trusteeship Council. Most of the territories that originally were under the system have become independent. During 1975, New Guinea, formerly administered by Australia, was granted its independence, and the only territory now remaining in trusteeship status is the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, administered by the United States. As a result of New Guinea's accession to independence as part of the state of Papua New Guinea, Australia left the Trusteeship Council which, at the end of 1975, was composed of the one remaining administering state (U.S.) and the four permanent members of the Security Council that do not administer trust territories (China, France, United Kingdom, and U.S.S.R.). All of these states are automatically members under Article 86 of the Charter. (The P.R.C., however, has not participated in the activities of the Trusteeship Council.)
Chapter XI of the UN Charter treats of the responsibilities of states for non-self-governing territories that are administered outside the trusteeship system. In 1960 the General Assembly adopted, in resolution 1514, a "Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples" and in 1961 established a 17-member Special Committee to make suggestions and recommendations on the progress and extent of implementation of the 1960 Declaration. Enlarged to 24 members in 1962, the Committee in 1975 consisted of Afghanistan, Australia, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Congo, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Mali, Sierra Leone, Syria, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, U.S.S.R., and Yugoslavia. At the end of the year Denmark withdrew from the Committee and Norway was selected by the Assembly to replace it as of January 1, 1976.
The Committee of 24 annually considers conditions in those territories that, in the view of the General Assembly, have not achieved independence. In 1975 the Committee considered about 30 territories, mostly small
While much of its attention continued to be devoted, either directly or indirectly, to the southern African territories of Namibia and Southern Rhodesia,