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Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of China Ambassador Zhang Yishan at the GA Meeting in Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

Mr. President,

Today, the General Assembly is holding this solemn meeting in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. On behalf of the Chinese government, I wish to extend our profound sympathy and condolences to the governments and peoples of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Belarus who have suffered from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

As a result of the Chernobyl disaster, millions of people saw their homes contaminated, hundreds of thousands of people had to be evacuated and relocated, totally disrupting the normal work and life of the victims, many of whom have been deeply traumatized because of anxiety and fear and afflicted with cancer and cardiovascular diseases. According to the relevant report of the WHO, it is estimated that the number of people dying of cancer will be around 9,000 above the normal level. Although it has been twenty years since the disaster, the effects it produced in economic, social and environmental areas still linger in Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Belarus.

The Chinese government appreciates the unremitting efforts made by the United Nations throughout these years to eliminate the effects of the Chernobyl disaster in these three countries. We have also noticed that in its assistance to these three countries, the UN has shifted the focus of work from emergency humanitarian relief to long-term development with a view to helping the affected areas establish a new and sustainable style of living. However, UN activities have long been hampered by an inadequacy of resources. We call on the international community to increase assistance to the three countries.

Mr. President,

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the Chinese government has decided to provide 10 million RMB yuan in grant to the government of Ukraine as requested for the purpose of implementing projects designed to eliminate the consequences and effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and to assist the people in the affected areas to rebuild their homes and start a new, normal life. The Chinese government is ready to join the international community in the continued efforts aimed at eliminating the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. We also hope that today's meeting will help mobilize sustained assistance of the international community to the three governments and the affected people.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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