Press Release

un will ensure needs of those traumatized by chernobyl nuclear disaster

will not be forgotten, says secretary-general

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

Eighteen years ago today at the Chernobyl power plant, the world suffered the worst nuclear accident in its history.

Thousands of people were displaced from their homes, their livelihoods lost, traumatized by a disaster they could scarcely understand or defend themselves against.  For nearly two decades, the people in the affected regions of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine have had to cope with farmland rendered useless, acute economic difficulties, and chronic health problems, especially among children.  To mitigate the toll on affected communities, the United Nations is focusing our programmes on laying the foundations for sustainable recovery and development.

The Secretary-General reaffirms the resolve of the United Nations to ensure that the ongoing needs of the people of the region are not forgotten.  He urges the international community to provide the moral and financial support necessary to keep the affected communities from suffering the effects of this tragedy for decades to come.

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