The Governing Board of the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) held its 58th meeting in Moscow on December 10th, 2013; the meeting was chaired by Mr. Ronald Lehman.
Representatives of ISTC Parties in attendance were from the European Union, Japan, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United States of America, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, the Republic of Armenia and Georgia, which participated in the meeting as the rotating Board member. Members of the ISTC Governing Board gathered to discuss developments with respect to the ISTC and to set the direction and priorities for future action.
The Governing Board took note of the budgets required for operating two offices in parallel in the Republic of Kazakhstan and Russia in 2014 and commended the Secretariat for their foresight and planning in respect of this issue. The Governing Board approved the FY2014 administrative operational budget AOB.
The Governing Board approved the FY2014 supplemental budget SB activity plans, overall budget amounts, and individual contributions by each party.
The Governing Board approved the proposed annual wage indexation/cost of living adjustment for Russian, CIS & Georgian staff at 6%, effective 1 January 2014.
The Governing Board discussed the status of equipment transfer in the RF, and instructed the Secretariat to write a letter to Rosatom and copy the MFA, to the detail steps taken so far by ISTC to facilitate equipment transfer and to express concern over the progress of write off and transfer of equipment for non-Rosatom institutes.
The Governing Board discussed the Red Star loan and renovation reimbursement status. The Governing Board noted with satisfaction the continued timely quarterly payments of the outstanding loan between ISTC and the Red Star Joint Stock Company, noting that the final payment is to be made by 31 December 2013 at the latest.
The Governing Board noted the draft Access Guidelines developed for ISTC documents currently being archived and which will remain in Russia and asked the ED to continue to finalize this document to allow these records to be accessed by approved third parties, after Russia’s withdrawal from ISTC.
The Governing Board re-iterated its approval of the wind-down & future liquidation plans, recognizing that it is a living document and will be continuously modified. The Governing Board requested the Secretariat to continue implementing aspects of the plan presented in the Executive Session for the total liquidation of the activities of the ISTC in Russia within the timeframe set forth in the 13 July 2011 diplomatic note from Russia. It was noted that the plan would need to be in conformity with the relevant provisions of the ISTC Agreement and relevant Russian legislation. The wind-down decision will be made at the next Governing Board meeting in June, 2014.
The Governing Board approved the continuation of wind-down activities in Moscow, and the new office implementation plans in Astana. Including advertising for and hiring of Kazakh staff as approved at previous Governing Board meetings, only after signing of a Facility Agreement
The Governing Board confirmed the ISTC organization chart presented as of December 10, 2013.
The Governing Board approved the staffing and organizational plans for both the Moscow and the Republic of Kazakhstan premises, to be in effect as of 1 January 2014.
The Governing Board discussed equipment transfer in non-RF countries and noted with satisfaction the progress being made.
The Governing Board received an update on the status of the Continuing Agreement and noted the progress made.
The Governing Board discussed a Facility Agreement and premises and thanked the representative of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan for steps being taken to facilitate the move of the ISTC from Moscow to the Republic of Kazakhstan. The representative of the Government of Kazakhstan assured the Governing Board that a new premise is presently available at Nazarbayev University for both the interim period and final Headquarters location.
The Governing Board approved 6 new Regular projects with a total value of $1,873,834 USD in new funding for activities in Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Armenia and Georgia. It thanked the SAC cordially for the evaluation of the project proposals. The Governing Board set 18th March 2014 as a deadline for the submission of project proposals for consideration at the next funding session, FS59.
The Governing Board thanked the ISTC Secretariat for their professionalism in fulfillment of its tasks during the past year. The Board expressed its understanding of the challenging circumstances under which work currently is being carried out.
The Governing Board thanked representatives from Georgia for the valuable contribution to the work of Governing Board of ISTC in their function as rotating Governing Board Member. From 1 January 2014, Kyrgyzstan will take this position of rotating Governing Board Member.
The Governing Board noted with deep appreciation, the outstanding work Mr. Leo Owsiacki as interim Executive Director over the past ten months and as Deputy Executive Director Global Security, Environment, Biotechnology and Health for the past eight years. The Governing Board thanked Mr. Owsiacki for stepping in at a critical time in the organization’s future, to both carry out the difficult task of extreme down-sizing over a short period of time and working to continue the organization in the Republic of Kazakhstan, while maintaining operational effectiveness and staff morale.
The Governing Board confirmed the appointment of Mr. David Cleave as Acting Executive Director until further notice.
The Governing Board decided to convene the next Governing Board meeting in 6 June 2014 in Astana, Kazakhstan.