25 April 2014

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General, on Chernobyl Disaster Anniversary, Urges Best Use

Of Knowledge Gained to Prevent Future Nuclear Catastrophes


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

Tomorrow, we will mark the twenty-eighth anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.  This is an opportunity to pay tribute to the emergency workers who responded, remember the more than 330,000 people who were evacuated from contaminated regions, and stand in solidarity with the millions who still live in the affected areas in Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

The United Nations has played an important role in addressing the challenges faced by affected communities, and we remain fully committed to the UN Action Plan on Chernobyl until 2016.  Those affected still require targeted yet comprehensive support in creating new livelihoods and restoring self-reliance and self-sufficiency.  The Secretary-General applauds the determination of people in affected territories to bring life in the region back to normal.

The Secretary-General welcomes the resolution on Chernobyl adopted by the General Assembly, which requested continued recovery efforts and called for the consideration of further approaches to international cooperation after 2016.  Towards that end, the Secretary-General welcomes the meeting next month in Belarus of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Chernobyl as the beginning of a substantive discussion on the future conceptual framework of international Chernobyl cooperation.

The Secretary-General notes that Chernobyl recovery has produced new knowledge and experience in addressing the multifaceted consequences of nuclear emergencies.  Over the years, the United Nations and its partners have tackled development challenges that emerged in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster, supported recovery efforts tailored to addressing the fallout, and found practical solutions on the ground.  The Secretary-General welcomes the request of the General Assembly to fully utilize those experiences in development cooperation worldwide.

On this solemn occasion, the Secretary-General calls upon the international community to further support the process of recovery and sustainable development in the Chernobyl-affected region, to optimize the knowledge gained for the common good and to do everything possible to prevent any future nuclear disasters.

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For information media • not an official record