Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Chumakov at the special commemorative meeting of the General Assembly in observance of the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe
We express our gratitude to you for convening today's commemorative event dedicated to one of the most tragic pages in the history of our country.
Exactly 35 years ago, not only the USSR, but also, without exaggeration, the whole world faced a tragedy of an unprecedented scale. The explosion on the night of April 26, 1986 at the 4th power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant caught absolutely everyone off-guard. The accident became one of the largest man-made disasters of the last century, and work is still underway to eliminate its consequences.
We are convinced that without the dedication and courage of the Chernobyl liquidators, there would have been incomparably more victims. These were the heroes, ordinary people who had no experience of such disasters, who shouldered the entire burden of fighting the unknown “invisible enemy”. We are indebted to them! We deeply honor the memory of each deceased, we sympathize condole those who have lost their loved ones.
Yes, the world is not secured from a repetition of what happened. Tragedies happen in our times. In this regard, the issue of learning lessons, ensuring the safety of nuclear facilities, much-needed progress in the field of medicine becomes paramount. Significant resources are allocated for these purposes, and the specialized international scientific community is working tirelessly.
The Chernobyl disaster has significantly recalibrated the scientific thought of the nuclear industry. Nuclear technologies have been improved to build confidence in the nuclear industry. Thanks to this, at the moment, nuclear power plants operate in almost all regions. After all, nuclear energy remains the most cost-effective way to generate electricity and - subject to the relevant rules and regulations - the safest one.
We see in all this the unifying force of the tragic legacy of the Chernobyl disaster, which provides a chance to move away from confrontational rhetoric, since this is a common tragedy for all people of the then USSR, and not only for them. We also welcome the work of the UN agencies, which, under the auspices of the UN Development Program and within the framework of an Inter-agency task force, interact with specialized Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian authorities to implement projects on Chernobyl.