International Atomic Energy Agency
(Unofficial electronic edition)
29 July 1996
Communication of 18 June Received from the Permanent Mission of Belarus to the
International Atomic Energy Agency
The following documents received from the Resident Representative of Belarus in a communication of
18 Juen 1996 are being circulated for the information of Member states of the Agency: the "Appeal to
States Members of the United Nations on the tenth annivesary fo the accident at teh Chernobyl nuclear
power plant" signed by the Secretary General of the United Nations and the "Resolution of the
European Parliament on the 10th anniversary of the Chernboyl accident".
Appeal to States Members of the United Nations on the tenth anniversary of the accident at the
Chinaberry nuclear power plant*/
Ten years separate us from the early-morning hours of 26 April 1986 when
two powerful explosions in rapid succession destroyed the Unit 4 reactor of the
Chernobyl nuclear power plant, exposing the burning core and releasing
50 million curies of radioactive isotopes into the environment.
The scale of the accident, its impact on health and on the ecological
situation transcended the boundaries of the zone around Chernobyl, indeed, the
boundaries of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, the three countries
which received the largest share of the fallout, becoming a global problem of
concern to the entire world.
Even a decade later, however, this accident is much more than the worst
technological disaster in the history of nuclear power generation; it is also a
grave and continuing humanitarian tragedy.
By displacing hundreds of thousands of people, it severely damaged the
socio-psychological fibre of the most seriously affected States. Radioactive
contamination, health risks, both physical and mental, continue to affect vast
populations in these three countries.
That tragic event 10 years ago continues to this day to have a devastating
effect on the social and economic life in Belarus, the Russian Federation and
Ukraine, obliging them to grapple with the most acute of its consequences.
Chernobyl, however, represents a long-term problem of unprecedented complexity,
which can only be tackled successfully through the combined efforts of the
entire international community.
The International Conference, "One Decade after Chernobyl: Summing Up the
Consequences of the Accident", held recently at Vienna, fully attested to this
fact. Indeed, it brought together nuclear scientists, doctors, political
leaders of Member States, organisations of the United Nations system, the
European Commission and airways for a thorough and detailed assessment of the
situation 10 years later, and of the level and adequacy of the assistance
provided and research undertaken. The results of the Conference clearly point
to the need for intensifying assistance to vast segments of the populations of
the affected States, as well as to the need for further research into what is
still very much an evolving science.
Recognising the universal importance of the Chernobyl disaster, the General
Assembly at its fiftieth session declared 26 April 1996 to be the International
Day Commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
Accident. In its resolution 50/134 the General Assembly invites Member States
to conduct appropriate activities to commemorate this tragic event and to
enhance public awareness of the consequences of such disasters for health and
the environment throughout the world.
The United Nations today remains profoundly concerned by the continuing
impact of this disaster on the lives and health of large numbers of people,
particularly children. I cannot stress enough that Chernobyl is still a major
humanitarian tragedy, and that with the passage of time, the suffering has not
In any realistic forecast of the challenges facing the United Nations, we
must accept that Chernobyl and its consequences will remain on the international
agenda. The occasion of the tenth anniversary of the accident provides us with
a special opportunity to express a renewed commitment to help those who are
asking for our assistance. It is also a chance to reinforce our common effort
to respond to this continuing humanitarian and technological disaster.
As the Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am therefore taking this
opportunity to appeal to Member States to continue and to intensify their
assistance to Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, so that a tangible
difference can be made in the lives of those still suffering at the hands of the
Resolution of the European Parliament on the 10th anniversary of the Chernobvl accident
The European Parliament,
- having regard to its resolution of 8 April 1987 on the consequences of the Chernobyl
accident and on the outline communication from the Commission of the European
Communities to the Council on the consequences of the Chernobyl accident and the
communication from the Commission of the European Communities to the Council
on Community action to be taken in response to the Chernobyl accidentm1/,
- having regard to its resolution of 8 April 1987 on the problem of contamination of
foodstuffs following the Chernobyl disaster2/,
- having regard to its resolution of 8 April 1987 on the reaction of the Community to
- having regard to its opinion of 15 December 1993 on the proposal for a Council
Decision amending Decision 77/270 (Euratom) to authorize the Commission to
contract Euratom borrowings in order to contribute to the financing required for
improving the degree of efficiency and safety of nuclear power stations in certain
- having regard to its resolution of 15 December 1993 on nuclear safety in the countries
of Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)5/,
- whereas, ten years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which caused thousands of
deaths by radioactive contamination and which is still having tragic consequences for
the health of millions of people - particularly as a result of the increase in the
incidence of cancer and leukemia - and for the state of the environment, the risks
of a fresh accident remain, both on the Chernobyl site itself and in all other nuclear
- whereas a serious incident occurred in reactor 1 at the Chernobyl nuclear power
station on 27 November 1995,
- C. greatly concerned by the report by 'Alliance', a consortium responsible for carrying
out, within the framework of the TACIS programme, a feasibility study on
stabilisation of the sarcophagus of block 4 in Chernobyl, whose conclusions
concerning the risk of collapse of this sarcophagus are particularly alarming; noting
that' the costs for the construction of a new sarcophagus are estimated at US $ 1.6
billion over a period of 10 Years.
- aware that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant contributes about 7 % to the electricity
supply of Ukraine,
- pointing out that the Ukrainian Government admits that Ukraine is one of the most
energy-intensive countries in the world, using at least 3 times the amount of energy
per unit of GNP as the European Union.
- drawing attention to the fact that over the last few years electricity consumption in
these countries has fallen by an amount which significantly exceeds nuclear power
- referring to the International Conference now taking place in Vienna,
- noting that the G7, Russia and Ukraine will discuss nuclear safety at a special summit
in Moscow in April 1996,
- acknowledging that the European Union has an important role to play in helping the
countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in their efforts
to improve the safety and efficiency of their energy systems,
- recalling the Memorandum of Understanding in which the G7 promised to help
finance a solution to the Chernobyl problem,
- Emphasizes that 10 years after the Chernobyl disaster, no nuclear power station,
either RBMK or VVER 440-230, has yet been shut down, in spite of the opinion of
Western experts, and that the working conditions of these installations, far from
improving, have in fact deteriorated, since they have become more decrepit and are
controlled by personnel lacking training;
- Calls on the authorities of the countries which are still operating high-risk power
stations to decommission them as quickly as possible and to focus, on the one hand,
on improving the safety of more recent types of nuclear power station, and, on the
other, on developing programmes to save energy and improve energy efficiency,
- Stresses the need to make available as much financial and technical aid as possible to
assist Ukraine in making the destroyed reactor block safe and to contribute to the
cleaning up of the contaminated areas, also in Russia and Belarus;
- Requests the Commission to develop a genuine strategy, in the framework of the
PHARE and TACIS programmes, in order to promote energy saving programmes and
sustainable energy resources, notably by more efficient utilization of energy and the
recourse to less expensive and less dangerous sources of energy;
- Calls on the Ukrainian Government to comply with the Memorandum of
Understanding that it signed with the G7 in Ottawa, which provides for the closure
of Chernobyl by the year 2000;
- Calls for least-cost studies to be made a precondition for the granting of aid;
- Calls on the Commission to continue the Chernobyl project, which provides medical
aid to Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, and requests that aid to victims of the disaster be
reinforced, as well as support for NGOs participating in this aid;
- Calls on the Commission to submit to it an assessment of the impact of the Chernobyl
disaster on public health, the environment and agriculture in the countries of the
- Requests the Commission to inform, as a priority, Parliament's competent committees
of the results of the study carried out within the framework of ECHO, the preparation
for nuclear disasters in the countries of Eastern Europe and the action it intends to
take following these conclusions, not only in regard to these countries, but also in
regard to the European Union which would also be affected by another nuclear
- Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the
governments of the Member States, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the
G7, the CIS and the IAEA.
*/ Reproduced from the annex to United Nations General
1/ OJ C 125, 11.5.1987, p. 96.
2/ OJ C 125, 11.5.1987, p. 91.
3/ OJ C 125, 11.5.1987, p. 92.
4/ OJ C 20, 24.1.1994, p. 99.
5/ OJ C 20, 24.1.1994, p. 107.