The Round Table began by the welcoming address by Mr. Dapkiunas, stating its objective was to demonstrate the perpetuated significance of post-Chernobyl experience in guiding global attempts in dealing with technological accidents. With a total of one moderator and eleven invited speakers with backgrounds vary from diplomats to public health experts, this summary aims at providing some of the highlighted comments.
To begin with, Mr. Kononuchenko stated that the Russian Federation is committed to providing assistance for impact-mitigation to countries that are suffering from nuclear accidents, both financially and technologically by building on the experience gained from significant past and current post-Chernobyl projects led by academia, civil society, and international organisations.
To add on, Mr. Fladeboe articulated the vitality of the two conventions developed by IEA concerning ex-ante and ex-post managements of nuclear incidents, that are respectively pre-accident warning system and post-accident impact mitigation mechanism. Also, he suggested that the experience learnt not only from Chernobyl, but Fukushima, Japan since 2011 could be a good reference for academia to take reference of, therefore formulating protocols that empower governments to efficiently dispatch teams and the equipment needed in case of emergency. Besides, he stressed that the Convention on Nuclear Safety, which meet every three years with the next meeting on April, 2017 is crucial for countries to submit, review and answer questions regarding their own protocols in nuclear crisis management – a very useful tool for international collaboration. He, however, expressed his concern over the inadequate participation of many emerging Asian countries, in which incentive to encourage their full participation must be put forth.
Following the first part of the discussion was the Moderator’s presentation on global advancement on the prevention of Radiation and Thyroid Cancer in recent years. He stated that previous initiatives in curing Thyroid Cancer were too costly, and therefore it would be worthwhile for member states to incorporate the use of advanced vaccination and thyablator in patients’ treatment, which costs less.
Whilst echoing with other speakers’ remarks, Mr. Obermeyer of WHO and Mr. Mabhongo, expressed the lack of accurate data related to nuclear accidents due to the unwillingness of concerned governments to disclose what they treated as national security issue. They, hence, jointly urged the United Nations and missions to facilitate the disclosure of such data collected by local authorities, therefore empowering experts to formulate better projection, policies and response measures.
The meeting was concluded by the Moderator and Mr. Dapkiunas’ closing remarks.
Meeting: Roundtable discussion on “Preventing and Overcoming Major Technological Accidents: A Case of United Nations Cooperation on Chernobyl” (co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Belarus, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Project Chernobyl and the Russian American Foundation)
Date/Time/Location: Friday, 3 June, 2016; 10:00 – 13:00; Conference Room 12
Speakers: H.E. Andrei Dapkiunas, Permanent Representative of Belarus to the United Nations, Mr. Daniel Igor Branovan, Moderator of the Round Table; President of Project Chernobyl; CEO of New York Ear, Nose and Throat Institute, Mr. Xolisa Mabhongo, Representative of the IAEA Director General; Director of the IAEA Office in New York, Mr. Neil McFarlane, Chief of New York Liaison Office of UNISDR, Mr. Werner Obermeyer, Deputy Executive Director of the Office at the United Nations, WHO, Mr. Sergey Kononuchenko, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations
Written by: Raphael LEUNG, WIT Representative
Edited by: Modou Cham, WIT Administrator