United Nations' Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on the world community to remember the tragedy of Chernobyl and mobilize its efforts to support the victims of this catastrophe. According to the UN Secretariat, the appeal is part of a message of greetings that Annan posted to a new web page dedicated to the Chernobyl power plant catastrophe of 16 years ago.
The opening ceremony for the new site, located at www.chernobyl.info, was held simultaneously in Geneva, Minsk and Kiev. The page, which contains information about the Chernobyl catastrophe and the international effort to liquidate its consequences in English, German and Russia, was constructed with money allocated by the Swiss government.
"In order to mobilize international support, which is vitally important for all those who suffered in this catastrophe, we must do everything possible to make people remember it, specifically by regularly providing them with unbiased and reliable information," reads Annan's message. "During a recent visit to Russia and Ukraine, who suffered the worst damages in this catastrophe together with Belarus, I had a chance to make sure that we still have a lot to do to alleviate the human sufferings it provoked." Confirming the United Nations' readiness to participate in this work, Annan called on the world community to follow Switzerland's example and resume the effort to support the victims of the Chernobyl catastrophe.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969