SECRETARY-GENERAL, ON SIXTEENTH ANNIVERSARY OF
NEW YORK, 26 April (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokes- man for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
Today, 26 April, marks the sixteenth anniversary of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine.
The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the plight of some hundreds of thousands of people who continue to be directly affected by the consequences of this disaster. In order to revitalize international efforts to assist these people, the Secretary-General, in cooperation with the authorities of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, has initiated a shift in emphasis of the United Nations approach away from emergency-type assistance of the past years towards a long-term developmental approach, which would include the empowering of people and their communities, targeted assistance to the most affected people and communities and an overall policy of promoting a return to normalcy.
This new approach can only be based on renewed donor interest and participation in the efforts of the United Nations to assist the populations affected by the Chernobyl disaster. The Secretary-General hopes that donors, who have been very effective in dealing with the technical response to the accident, will not forget the human dimension of Chernobyl.
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