World Information Transfer and the Government of Ukraine held the 27th annual conference on Health and Environment with a focus on Sustainable Energy and the Legacy of Chernobyl. Dr. Durbak gave opening remarks reminding the audience that progress is in the eye of the beholder. H.E. Yelchenko focused on the future that Ukraine wants and discussed sustainable energy through projects that use the contamination zone for solar panels. Hon. Comitta used past legislation to highlight the balance between economic and social responsibility. Dr. Goldstein mentioned that healthy humans are vital to setting and achieving sustainability goals. He also emphasized that we sometimes think of sustainability as being an end goal, despite the impossibility of reaching perfection with the concept. It’s a process because the world will always be changing and innovative technology is the key. Ms. Rayets discussed how there is a lot of transformative legislation left to pass to get the exclusion zone to its positive potential future. Mr. Pavlova added to the discussion on the exclusion zone with examples of how the zone can benefit from solar energy development projects. Dr. Linet highlighted the chronic risks of prenatal and child radiation exposure, including skin burns, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, noting previous complications due to atomic bombs. Hon. Weber talked about his experiences with programs securing uranium and making sure it’s used correctly. He stated that the only way to get nuclear materials is through theft from state programs, or by having a legitimate use for them and then covertly diverting them to make nuclear weapons. He noted that progress has been made in countering weapons of mass destruction, but we still live in a dangerous world where the line is blurred between conventional and nuclear weapons. Arms treaties are expiring and need to be renegotiated because an arms race can be devastating. Dr. Salk overviewed the biological history of humans to provide context for the dimensions of our current issues, and suggested ways to solve them such as mediation, the supporting of long-term outcomes such as SDGs, and the capitalization of existing technologies.
Mr. Regev presented an innovative idea about rewarding companies and people for using renewable and clean energy with a new currency. He says this will only work if trust is built in the currency and everyone is included in the process. Mr. Gupta concluded by asking that we focus not just on today’s leaders but on future leaders. He said that in this crisis there is energy and passion in young people we must listen to them.
Meeting: Health Environment: Global Partners for Global Solutions 27th International conference: Panel Discussion on —“Sustainable Energy: Legacy of Chernobyl”
Date/Location: Friday, April 27, 2018; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 4, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
H.E Mr.Volodymyr Yelchenko, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN
Dr. Christine K. Durbak, Chair and CEO, World Information Transfer, Inc.
Hon. Carolyn Comitta, State Representative, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Dr.Bernard D.Goldstein, Dean Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh, School of Public Health
Margaryta Rayets, Head of Information, External Relations and Public Relations of Ukraine
Kateryna Pavlova, Head of International Affairs of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management
Hon. Andy Weber, former United States Assist. Secretary of Defense, Council on Foreign Relations
Dr. Martha Linet, epidemiologist, National Institute of Health, USA
Dr. Peter Salk, President, Jonas Salk Legacy Foundation
Gilad Regev, Co Managing Partner of 910 Partners and CEO, Moneta Bank
Apurv Gupta, Youth Representative and Board of Directors, World Information Transfer, Inc.
Written By: WIT Representative Nicole Matsanov
Assisted By: Timothy Stephens, Andrea Estrella