Assistant Secretary-General Ms. Sultanoglu and Ukrainian President commemorated Chernobyl anniversary

Apr 28, 2016

Ms. Cihan Sultanoglu, Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator, Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States represented the UN Secretary General in the high-level commemoration event dedicated to the 30th Anniversary of the Nuclear Disaster. The event brought together top government officials, representatives of the academia, expert community and business circles to discuss the recovery process and develop solutions that ensure nuclear safety for generations to come.

Opening the event, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said: “We honor those who lost their health and require a special attention from the government and society.  It's with an everlasting pain in our hearts that we remember those who lost their lives to fight nuclear death."

The high officials took part in flower-laying ceremony to honor the memory of the first responder who perished during the emergency and radioactive clean-up management.

The Chernobyl nuclear accident of 1986 had devastating consequences for people living in the vast territories touched by radioactive fallout. Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated from the city of Pripyat and other surrounding areas, and millions of people still live in areas officially classified as “contaminated” by radiation. The three countries most affected by the accident – the Republic of Belarus, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine – have spent vast sums tending to the needs of local communities.

Over the past 30 years, enormous efforts have been made to overcome the consequences of the Chernobyl accident. The UN has played an important role in addressing the challenges faced, initially through emergency and humanitarian assistance and in the last decade – with a focus on local governance, community mobilization and economic development of the affected regions.

Over the last decade, UN agencies under coordination of UNDP and in close cooperation with the governments of the three countries most affected by Chernobyl, and other international organizations, have worked to address development challenges posed by the accident.  The UN family has engaged in a series of interventions, ranging from community development to improving living standards and promoting self-reliance; information provision, including promotion of healthy lifestyles; knowledge management, policy advice and advocacy.

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