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Opinions & Interviews

27 May 2015

Lasuta: Belarus highly appreciates contribution of IAEA, WHO, UNICEF to Chernobyl initiatives

MINSK DISTRICT, 27 May (BelTA) - Belarus highly appreciates the contribution of the IAEA, WHO and UNICEF to the implementation of Chernobyl-related initiatives, Belarus’ Deputy Emergencies Minister Gennady Lasuta said during a meeting of experts to develop new strategies for international cooperation on Chernobyl, BelTA has learned.

Gennady Lasuta said that since the accident Belarus had gone through different stages: from the zone of ecological disaster announced in 1989 to rehabilitation to the current stage of recovery of the affected areas. "Belarus views the assistance of the international community in overcoming the Chernobyl problems as an important precondition for the transition towards the sustainable development of the affected regions,” he said. “We appreciate the contribution of the IAEA, WHO, UNICEF and other agencies to the implementation of Chernobyl-related initiatives. I would like to highlight the special role of the UNDP. Unlike other organizations and agencies of the UN system, the United Nations Development Program is more equipped to promote for socio-economic rehabilitation and sustainable development of the affected regions,” he noted.

The deputy minister recalled that in 2002 Belarus was one of the first to respond to the recommendations laid down in the UN report "Human consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. A strategy for recovery" by incorporating the thesis on the need for an integrated approach to rehabilitation and recovery of the affected areas into the concepts of national and Union State Chernobyl programs. "The country has used this approach in practice through the implementation of a number of international projects and programs. In 2003-2008, Belarus carried out major initiatives under the auspices of the United Nations: Program of cooperation for rehabilitation, Program for territorially-oriented development, the international Chernobyl research and information network and the international forum on Chernobyl,” said Gennady Lasuta.

"The important thing is that the affected areas were not neglected. The experience of living in the conditions of radioactive contamination allows the experts to plan a long-term development strategy for these regions," said the deputy minister.

Participants in the seminar which is held at the children's rehabilitation center Zhdanovichy are discussing the results of the Chernobyl-related programs of the affected states and the plan of action on Chernobyl for 2006-2016, and also the preparations for the international events in connection with the forthcoming 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident. There are plans to start developing, on the initiative of Belarus, a strategy for international Chernobyl cooperation post-2016.

The organizers of the event are the Emergencies Ministry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Development Program. The meeting is attended by representatives of the five countries and ten international organizations participating in the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Chernobyl.

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