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Opinions & Interviews

25 Apr 2016

Clark: UNDP will continue supporting Chernobyl-affected areas

Clark: UNDP will continue supporting Chernobyl-affected areas

MINSK, 25 April (BelTA) – The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will continue providing support to the governments of the Chernobyl-affected countries in their constant efforts to secure sustainable development of the regions, Administrator of the UN Development Program Helen Clark said at the international high-level conference, titled as Thirty Years After Chernobyl. From Emergency to Revival and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development of Affected Territories, in Minsk on 25 April, BelTA has learned.

We have good relations with the authorities and communities. We would like to see the continued development of the territories affected by the Chernobyl accident. No one should be left behind in overcoming the Chernobyl legacy, Helen Clark said.

The Chernobyl accident was one of the most severe nuclear accidents in history. It created long-lasting humanitarian, environmental, social, economic, and health consequences. “We remember the devastation and human suffering, and we also remember the heroism of the emergency workers. Belarus, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine were the countries most impacted by the nuclear accident. The loss and pain caused by the disaster must never be forgotten,” said Helen Clark.

Helen Clark praised the efforts to mitigate the Chernobyl consequences. “Much has been done to overcome the legacy of Chernobyl. The Governments of the affected countries have provided critical leadership and resourcing to help protect people from the effects of radiation and to mitigate the consequences of the accident. Over the last three decades, people in affected regions have also received invaluable support from a number of partners, donors, and civil society organizations actively involved in relief and recovery activities. The UN has been one of those partners, playing an important role in addressing the needs of people living in the affected communities. Initially UN agencies provided emergency and humanitarian assistance. Then, over the past decade, UN agencies have focused on supporting the recovery and development efforts of the governments and local communities,” she stressed.

Helen Clark extended greetings from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In his address on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, the UN head emphasized the importance of joint work in mitigating the Chernobyl consequences in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.

Helen Clark thanked the Government of Belarus for hosting a series of commemorative events on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Chernobyl.

The participants of the conference are taking stock of the UN Decade of Recovery and Sustainable Development for Communities Affected by the 1986 Chernobyl Disaster and discussing new approaches to multilateral Chernobyl cooperation. Attending the conference are representatives of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, the Order of Malta, partners from Japan, Sweden, Ireland, the UK, Austria, Italy, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Minsk. The conference is also attended by representatives of international organizations, including the IAEA, the World Bank, the OSCE and the United Nations.

The participants of the conference are expected to adopt a Declaration that will make a basis for the development of a new stage in Chernobyl cooperation under the aegis of the United Nations.

The conference has been organized by the Belarusian government and the UN Development Program.

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