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Opinions & Interviews

25 Apr 2016

Sustainable development of Chernobyl-affected regions viewed as priority in Belarus

Sustainable development of Chernobyl-affected regions viewed as priority in Belarus

MINSK, 25 April (BelTA) - Sustainable development of the territories affected by the Chernobyl accident is the main task, Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said when speaking at the high-level international conference Thirty Years After Chernobyl. From Emergency to Revival and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development of Affected Territories, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Makei stressed that the Belarusian authorities have been doing everything possible to ensure stringent radiation control of food products including those made in the areas affected by Chernobyl. “We want to revive these lands. This is the main thing,” the Minister said.

He noted that the participants of the conference in Minsk have an important task. They are expected to propose ways of further development of international Chernobyl-related cooperation. The Minister noted that the conference will adopt a declaration and called its highlights. Among them is the dissemination of the unique knowledge and sharing of best practices to mitigate the Chernobyl impact. The Declaration also suggests that an initiative to achieve the sustainable development goals in the Chernobyl-affected regions through partnerships, innovation and investment will be launched in 2017, with the support of the United Nations.

Vladimir Makei expressed confidence that the Declaration will be an important step towards the development of international cooperation on Chernobyl post 2016.

The conference, Thirty Years After Chernobyl. From Emergency to Revival and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development of Affected Territories, is running in the Palace of the Republic in Minsk. The participants of the conference will take stock of the UN Decade of Recovery and Sustainable Development for Communities Affected by the 1986 Chernobyl Disaster and will discuss new approaches to multilateral Chernobyl cooperation. 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.

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

 

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