On April 20, 2016 the opening ceremony of the photo exhibition “Chernobyl: Tragedy, Lessons, Hope” was conducted at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Organised by Belarus to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Chernobyl tragedy, the exhibition was opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Vladimir Makei, and the Administrator of UN Development Programme, Helen Clark.
American non-governmental organisations Russian American Foundation, Project Chernobyl and “unite4:good” became partners of Belarus in organising the exhibition.
The exposition features the works of the American photographer Philip Grossman presenting the current state of the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Addressing the guests of the exhibition, Vladimir Makei called the Anniversary of the tragedy a reminder of the need to carefully preserve the ideals associated with the value of human life and with responsible attitude to the environment. Such an attitude to the memory of the disaster requires not only political and economic measures, but equally simple human dialogue, understanding, cooperation and empathy.
In her welcoming remarks, the UNDP Administrator Helen Clark thanked the Belarusian side for organising the exhibition on the eve of her visit to Minsk in the coming days. As the coordinator of international cooperation on Chernobyl she noted the importance of the work by Belarus, Russia and Ukraine to carefully preserve the Chernobyl experience in the interest of the international community.
The opening ceremony was attended by heads and staff of the UN member states’ missions in New York, UN agencies, non-governmental organisations and American general public.
The photo exhibition has become one of a series of events at the United Nations to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.
Earlier, a meeting of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Chernobyl took place with the participation of a number of countries and international organisations.
On April 26, the General Assembly will hold special commemorative meeting in observance of the Anniversary of the tragedy.
Belarus also plans to conduct a round table to review international Chernobyl experience in the context of the UN’s activities in response to technological disasters.