Today – the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster – is the very first International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day. This comes after the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution designating the date at the end of 2016:
The General Assembly recognized that, “three decades after the Chernobyl disaster, the still-persistent serious long-term consequences thereof, as well as the continuing related needs of the affected communities and territories,” and invited “all Member States, relevant agencies of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, to observe the day.”
This UN resolution means that this day of remembrance will be observed every year.
Last year, on the 30th anniversary, Adi Roche (from the charity Chernobyl Children International) addressed the UN Assembly at the invitation of the Government of Belarus, and made a plea for the date to be designated as a day of remembrance to raise global awareness of the continuing consequences of the disaster:
I respectfully propose that this day, the 26th of April, be pledged and designated as an official United Nations ‘Chernobyl Day’ – a day that would always be honoured and commemorated. A day for renewal and recommitment to discover new means, new initiatives to alleviate further the suffering of the people in the affected stricken lands.
You can watch Adi’s address to the UN in full here: https://youtu.be/k3TlUyka5DE.
Recently, Adi also spoke these poignant words, which remind us once more why FOCC Medway do what they do:
Sadly, the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident that we’ve witnessed since 1986 is not something that has gone away. … While the accident itself is a thing of the past, Chernobyl remains an unfolding tragedy that will affect the stricken regions for generations to come. … Chernobyl is forever.
… ‘Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day’ is our legacy to the victims of the accident. This day of commemoration is so much more than one day – it is the world’s way of telling the past, current and future generations of Chernobyl victims that they are not alone.
Last week, a letter from the Belarusian Ambassador to the UK and Republic of Ireland was sent to all major Chernobyl charities. It said:
During the Chernobyl Remembrance Day we will recall all those involved in the tragic events, first of all the ‘Liquidators’ – firemen, servicemen, scientists and engineers who contained the atomic elements and saved the world from broad-scale radioactive contamination. We will recall all victims of the accident, adults and children, many of whom continue to suffer up to now.
So please join us in lighting a candle and remembering Chernobyl today, in remembering its victims and the ongoing difficulties experienced by the people of Belarus and Ukraine whose lives continue to be affected by this disaster… because Chernobyl is forever.
Please donate to our cause
You can do so via our My Donate page here: goo.gl/VQFtkp.
You can also get in touch with us by contacting Linda and Tony – FOCC Medway’s coordinators – on our Facebook page or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of Chernobyl’s Children (FOCC) – Medway funds yearly recuperative visits of one month for socially disadvantaged Belarusian children (aged between seven and twelve) from the areas still devastated by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. All money donated is used directly to support FOCC Medway’s objectives and there are no paid officials in any part of the Charity. Charity No: 1095997. If you would like to learn more about what we do, please see here: https://foccmedway.org/our-group/.