Ukraine to hold conference marking 25th year since Chernobyl

Ukraine will convene a high-level conference to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2010, 18:31 PM IST

New York: Ukraine will convene a
high-level conference to mark the 25th anniversary of the
Chernobyl nuclear accident, President Viktor Yanukovich said
as he addressed a general political discussion at the 65th
session of the UN General Assembly.

"We`ll mark the 25th anniversary since the Chernobyl
tragedy next April," he said. "The elimination of the
aftermaths of that disaster remains a dramatic challenge to
the entire world community, as the size of the disaster
requires coordinated steps by international partners."

He added that the forum will have an objective to attain
progress along the path of rehabilitation and normalisation of
life in the Chernobyl region and to discuss the issues of
nuclear security.

"I invite all of you to take part in this conference,"
Yanukovich told participants in the discussion.

He also called special attention to the fact that Ukraine
reaffirmed earlier this year its resolve to stay outside
military blocs.

"This step made it possible to reduce tensions in the
region considerably and to create a zone of stability and
strategic balance around the country," Yanukovich said.

"In 1994, we became the world`s first country to renounce
a powerful nuclear arsenal voluntarily and although sixteen
years have passed since then, Ukraine`s decision remains as
crucial now as at that time," he affirmed.

"In April 2010, Ukraine made the next step when it made
public a decision to renounce all the arsenals of highly
enriched uranium," said Yanukovich.

He cited the experience of the past decades which,
according to him, shows that the availability of nuclear
armaments does not always helps to enhance security and the
countries seeking to obtain the nukes fall into the sway of
new risks, thus becoming more vulnerable.

"In the light of it, we welcome the signing of a new
Russian-US treaty on reductions of strategic arsenals,"
Yanukovich said. "We urge all the UN member-states to follow
our example in the field of nuclear disarmament and
non-proliferation."

He also called on the participants to give more attention
to a new problem in the field of security - "piracy and armed
attacks on high seas."

"That`s a threat that shouldn`t be underestimated and
Ukraine is ready to put its efforts into ensuring maritime
security and defending the rights of seamen," Yanukovich said.

PTI