MINSK, 21 April (BelTA) – The anniversary of the Chernobyl accident reminds us of the value of human life, Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said when speaking at the opening of the photography exhibition: Chernobyl: Tragedy, Lessons, Hope at the UN headquarters in New York, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The exhibition was organized by Belarus and was timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl tragedy. Addressing the attendees, Vladimir Makei said that this anniversary reminds us of the need to take care of the ideals associated with the value of human life and with responsible attitude to the environment. Such an attitude to the memory about the catastrophe requires not only political and economic measures but also a human dialogue, mutual understanding, cooperation and empathy, the Minister stressed.
UN Under-Secretary General, UN Development Program Administrator Helen Clark also spoke at the ceremony. She extended her appreciation to the organizers of this event. As a coordinator of Chernobyl international cooperation Helen Clark took note of the important work carried out by Belarus, Russia and Ukraine to preserve the Chernobyl experience in the interests of the international community.
The American non-governmental organizations helped Belarus organize the event. The exhibition features the works by American photographer Philip Grossman who has documented the effects of the accident during his visits to the Chernobyl zone of exclusion. The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of the missions of the UN Member States in New York, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and the American public.
According to the press service of the ministry, the photography exhibition is one in a series of the UN events timed to the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident. Earlier, a meeting of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Chernobyl took place with the participation of a number countries and international organizations. On 26 April the UN General Assembly will hold a commemorative meeting to mark the anniversary of the tragedy. Belarus also plans a roundtable to consider international Chernobyl experience in the context of the UN activity on response to man-made accidents.
The Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs is in New York on a working visit. Vladimir Makei took part in the meeting of the UN Eastern European Group chaired by Belarus in April. The participants of the meeting hailed positive changes in the activity of the UN General Assembly and emphasized an important role of its Chairman in their initiation. The members of the Group exchanged opinions on the ways to strengthen the role and image of the Group in the UN, exploit its potential in the common interests of the UN member states.