Non-Aligned Movement has emphasised the importance of South-South cooperation in the domains of science, technology and innovation. This is in line with Agenda 2030 which identifies science, technology, and innovation (STI) as key drivers of sustainable development and realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Non-Aligned Movement has encouraged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to continue supporting developing countries in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular through its technical cooperation programme.
NAM Member States have offered their full support to IAEA’s Technical Cooperation (TC) frameworks through regional agreements such as the African Region Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training (AFRA), the Cooperative Agreement for Arab States in Asia (ARASIA), the intergovernmental Acuerdo Regional de Cooperacion para la Promocion de la Ciencia y la Tecnologia Nucleares en America Latina y el Caribe (ARCAL), and the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Asia and the Pacific (RCA).
AFRA is an agreement between 42 African IAEA Member States to intensify their collaboration and expand the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology to achieve national and regional sustainable development goals. In April 2018, IAEA helped AFRA to finalize Strategic Framework for 2019-2023 with focus on human health, food & agriculture and radiation safety. The framework will support sustainable promotion of the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology in African Member States, based on the most pressing developmental challenges, needs and priorities in the African socioeconomic context. There have been many instances of cooperation among African States under AFRA. Recently, Morocco supported Egypt, Kenya, Sudan and Zimbabwe in the effective use of radiotracers in industrial applications resulting in the certification of practitioners under the International Society for Tracer and Radiation Applications (ISTRA) scheme. In another example of South-South cooperation, Algeria assisted Burkina Faso in calibrating several instruments used in occupational exposure control and supported Côte d’Ivoire in conducting a survey on the levels of radon (a radioactive gas) in selected areas of the country.
The Cooperative Agreement for Arab States in Asia for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology (ARASIA) entered into force on 29 July 2002. Under this agreement, States Parties carry out, in cooperation with each other and with the Agency, activities for training, research, development and applications of nuclear science and technology. In 2017, ARASIA States Parties started the process of establishing regional resource centres, and in 2018, the first resource centres were designated in Kuwait and Lebanon, focusing on nuclear medicine.
The Regional Cooperation Agreement for the Promotion of Nuclear Science and Technology in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARCAL) was established in 1984. It provides a framework for Member State collaboration with the support of the IAEA and other international sources of cooperation. The Agreement addresses key development priorities in the region, focusing on pressing needs related to food security, human health, environment, energy, industry and radiological safety. Its activities take place under the framework of the 2016–2021 Regional Strategic Profile and support horizontal cooperation among countries to maximize the use of existing resources and institutions, benefiting from the capabilities and expertise in a number of technologically advanced countries within the region. An important example of South-South Cooperation under ARCAL is signing of the Cooperation Agreement between the National Institute of Nuclear Research (ININ) of Mexico and the Peruvian Institute of Nuclear Energy (IPEN). This Agreement was developed under the aegis of an ongoing ARCAL project that promotes sustainability by establishing networks among national nuclear energy institutions in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
The Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology for Asia and the Pacific (RCA) was first established in 1972 under the auspices of the IAEA to promote, coordinate and implement cooperative research, development and training projects in the peaceful application of nuclear science and technology among the RCA parties. RCA aims to promote collaboration among countries through targeted projects in priority areas, which include agriculture, the environment, human health and industry. Over 100 projects have been implemented to date, many of which featured South-South or triangular cooperation approaches.