The 36th Anniversary and International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day26.04.2022
April 26, 2022
On April 26, 1986 the world was shocked by a terrible tragedy – an explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the north of Ukraine (then 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 changed the lives of millions forever, and the consequences of this catastrophe are still felt today.
The Chernobyl disaster has a particular significance for Belarus. Nuclear contamination of its vast areas led to the resettlement and disruption of the normal way of life of hundreds of thousands of Belarusians.
Since 1990, five state programmes worth USD 19.3 billion to overcome the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster have been implemented. Belarus is grateful to all international partners who have not remained indifferent to the suffering of people in the contaminated territories and have rendered all possible assistance to Belarus.
Proclamation of 26 April as the International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day by the United Nations General Assembly during its seventy-first session, with the support of 60 Member States of the Organization, was symbolic.
Much has already been achieved while a lot is still to be done. The Government of the Republic of Belarus is expanding national efforts from assistance and rehabilitation to the sustainable development of the affected regions. The sixth State programme on overcoming the consequences of the disaster at the Chernobyl NPP for 2021-2025 sets the following goals: ensuring social protection, medical care, sanatorium treatment and rehabilitation of the affected population, especially children living or studying in the contaminated regions; improving radiation protection and targeted use of protective measures; promoting the socio-economic development of the affected regions; scientific research and public relation.
Overcoming the long-term consequences of the Chernobyl disaster requires huge national efforts, new partnerships, innovation and investment.
In 2019 the UN General Assembly in its resolution recognized the remaining legacy of the Chernobyl disaster and the need to ensure the sustainable development of recovering areas, with a focus on promotion of local business and tourism, job creation, the transition of the local economy to eco-friendly technologies, the promotion of sustainable forest management and agricultural innovation, the involvement of vulnerable people in local development and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.
Belarus counts on support of UN agencies, UN Member States and private investors, and is interested in attracting international partners to address the challenges in ensuring sustainable development of these regions and their residents.
We are looking forward to fruitful cooperation with all partners to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the affected regions.