36th anniversary and International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day


On 26 April 1986 the world was shocked by a terrible tragedy: an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the northern part of Ukraine (then part of the USSR). This accident was the largest man-made disaster in the history of nuclear energy. As a result of the explosion, large volumes of radioactive substances were released into the atmosphere, which then spread throughout the western part of the USSR and part of Europe. Radioactive contamination forever changed the lives of millions, and the consequences of this catastrophe are still felt.

For Belarus the catastrophe at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is of particular importance. A significant part of the territories suffered from the consequences of the accident, which led to the resettlement and disruption of the normal way of life of hundreds of thousands of Belarusians.

Since 1990 five State programmes have been implemented in the Republic to overcome the consequences of the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. To date, the equivalent of 19.3 billion US dollars has been allocated for the implementation of programme activities.

Belarus is grateful to all international partners who did not remain indifferent to the suffering of people in the contaminated territories and rendered all possible assistance to Belarus.

Symbolic is the proclamation of April 26 as the International Day of Remembrance for the Chernobyl Disaster by the United Nations General Assembly during its seventy-first session, with the support of 60 Member States of the Organization.

Much has been done, but much remains to be done. At the same time, the focus of national efforts on the Chernobyl issue is deliberately expanded by the Government of the Republic of Belarus with assistance and rehabilitation for the sustainable development of the economic and human potentials of the affected regions. The Sixth State Programme for overcoming the consequences of the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant for 2021-2025 provides for the implementation of five tasks:

– provision of social protection, provision of medical care, sanatorium treatment and rehabilitation of the affected population;

– ensuring radiation protection and targeted application of protective measures;

– assistance to the socio-economic development of the affected regions;

– improvement of the organization of sanatorium treatment and rehabilitation of children living or studying in the territory of radioactive contamination;

– conducting scientific research and information work.

Overcoming the long-term consequences of the Chernobyl accident requires huge national efforts and the formation of new partnerships to promote the sustainable development of the affected regions, attract innovation and investment.

In 2019 the UN General Assembly, in its resolution, recognized the lingering legacy of the Chernobyl disaster and the need to continue to ensure the sustainable development of recovering areas, with a focus on local entrepreneurship and tourism, job creation, the transition of the local economy to environmentally sound technologies, the promotion of sustainable forest management and agricultural innovation, the involvement of vulnerable people in local development processes and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

Belarus counts on support from UN agencies, UN Member States, private investors and is interested in attracting international partners to solve the practical tasks facing the State to ensure the sustainable development of these regions and their people.

We look forward to continued fruitful cooperation with all partners to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the affected regions.

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