Chernobyl - Looking Back to Go Forwards
-Towards a United Nations Consensus on the Effects of the Accident and the Future
6 - 7 September 2005
Programme (in Russian)
The Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear accident in history. The explosion on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, located just 100 km from the city of Kiev in what was then the Soviet Union, led to the substantial airborne release and subsequent ground deposition of a radionuclide mixture that resulted in the long term radioactive contamination of more than 200 000 square kilometres of European territory, most within the borders of what is now Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
Massive radioactive contamination forced the evacuation of more than 100 000 people from the affected region during 1986, and the relocation, after 1986, of another 200 000 from Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Some five million people continue to live in areas contaminated by the accident and have to deal with its environmental, health, social and economic consequences. The national governments of the three affected countries, supported by international organizations, have undertaken costly efforts to remedy contamination, provide medical services and restore the region’s social and economic well-being.
Although the accident occurred nearly two decades ago, controversy still surrounds the impact of the nuclear disaster. Despite numerous studies conducted in the contaminated areas in Belarus, the Russian Federation, and the Ukraine, as well as across the rest of Europe, experts, officials and international bodies continue to assess the precise environmental, health, social, and economic consequences of the Chernobyl accident. Forging consensus in this regard and providing guidance on the impact of the accident for inhabitants of the affected regions is of particular importance. For these reasons, there is an acute need to reach broadly shared conclusions on the consequences of the disaster and their repercussions for future environmental, social and economic rehabilitation of the affected areas, as well for the provision of health care and for further research and development.
With these objectives in mind, the IAEA, in cooperation with FAO, UNDP, UNEP, UN-OCHA, UNSCEAR, WHO and The World Bank, as well as the competent authorities of Belarus, the Russian Federation and the Ukraine, established the Chernobyl Forum in 2003. The mission of the Forum is — through a series of managerial, expert and public meetings — to generate “authoritative consensual statements” on the environmental consequences and health effects attributable to radiation exposure arising from the accident. The Forum was created as a contribution to the United Nations’ ten years strategy for Chernobyl, launched in 2002 with the publication of Human Consequences of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident – A Strategy for Recovery.
Since 2003, two expert groups — “Environment”, coordinated by the IAEA, and “Health”, coordinated by WHO — have presented reports for the Forum’s consideration. In order to give wide publicity to the Forum’s findings and recommendations, and to inform governments, the international scientific community and the general public, the Chernobyl Forum is now organizing, through the IAEA, an International Conference entitled “Chernobyl: Looking Back to Go Forwards”, to be held in Vienna on 6 and 7 September 2005. The Forum also aims to disseminate its findings widely through UN organizations and the mass media.
The objective of this conference is to inform governments and the general public about the Forum’s findings regarding the environmental and health consequences of the Chernobyl accident, as well as its social and economic consequences, and to present the Forum’s recommendations on further remediation, special health care, and research and development programmes, with the overall aim of promoting an international consensus on these issues.
3. SCOPE OF THE CONFERENCE
The following topics will be covered by the conference:
• The environmental consequences of the Chernobyl accident and remediation of areas contaminated with radionuclides;
• The health consequences of the accident and special health care needs;
• The social and economic consequences of the accident and development programmes.
The conference is directed at a broad spectrum of experts and persons from various professional disciplines, as well as decision makers from the countries affected by the Chernobyl accident, non-governmental organizations, and the mass media. Those attending the conference are expected to include health physicists, environmental engineers, radiation protection experts, officers having responsibilities for the application of remediation standards and radiation protection programmes, and senior policy makers at the ministerial level.
The conference programme will be based on the following approach:
• The opening will consist of the statements of members of the Chernobyl Forum;
• The major findings of the Forum concerning environmental consequences and remediation, as well as health consequences and health care, will be presented and followed by a panel discussion;
• The social and economic consequences and development issues will be presented in the context of the UN Strategy for Recovery;
• The conference will conclude with the Chairman’s statement containing the Forum’s conclusions and recommendations;
• The conference will include a major press conference and a press briefing with presentation of the Forum findings and recommendations.
No registration fee is charged to participants.
As a general rule, the IAEA does not pay the cost of attendance, i.e. travel and living expenses, of participants. However, limited funds are available to help meet the cost of the attendance of selected specialists, mainly from developing countries with low economic resources. Generally, not more than one grant will be awarded to any one country.
If governments wish to apply for a grant on behalf of one of their specialists, they should address specific requests to the IAEA to this effect. Governments should ensure that applications for grants:
(a) are submitted by 7 June 2005;
(b) are accompanied by a duly completed and signed Grant Application Form (see attached Form C).
Applications that do not comply with the conditions stated under (a) and (b) cannot be considered.
The grants awarded will be in the form of lump sums and will usually cover only part of the cost of attendance.
7. CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION
The Participation Form (Form A), and if applicable, the Grant Application Form (Form C) must be sent through one of the competent official authorities (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or national atomic energy authority) for subsequent transmission to the IAEA. Subsequent communications concerning technical matters should be sent to the Scientific Secretary and communications on administrative/logistical matters to the Conference Secretariat (see Section 12).
8. DISTRIBUTION OF DOCUMENTS
A preliminary programme of the conference will be sent to all officially designated participants well in advance of the meeting and will also be available on the IAEA conference web site (see Section 13). The final programme will be available upon registration at the conference. The Report of the United Nations Chernobyl Forum will also be available upon registration.
9. WORKING LANGUAGE
The working language of the meeting will be English. During the conference simultaneous interpretation into and from Russian will be provided.
Detailed information on accommodation and other administrative details will be sent to all officially designated participants approximately two to three months before the meeting. It will also be available on the IAEA conference web site.
Participants who require a visa to enter Austria (the ‘Schengen visa’), are requested to submit the necessary applications to the nearest diplomatic or consular representative of Austria as early as possible (please note that this procedure may take up to three weeks).
Scientific issues – Scientific Secretariat (IAEA)
Mr. M. Balonov
Scientific Secretary for Health Issues (WHO)
Mr. M. Repacholi
Scientific Secretary for Socio-Economic Issues (UNDP)
Ms. L. Vinton
Administration and organization:
Ms. K. Morrison