On 13-14 September a delegation of diplomats from Japan, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Hungary, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the European Union Delegation to Belarus, CIS Committee, heads of the UN agencies visited the Chernobyl-affected districts of Homiel region. The participants got acquainted with the results of the cooperation between the government and the international community on improving living conditions of the people living in the affected districts, as well as with economic and human potential of these territories. The visit organized by the Ministry of Emergencies together with UN and with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  

The new strategy for international cooperation on Chernobyl after 2016 is based on the leading role of the governments of the affected countries in ensuring sustainable development of the affected regions through implementation of the state programs and initiatives. The UN system and partners remain committed, within their mandates and available resources, to supporting the governmental efforts to place affected regions on a stable path of development. Chernobyl recovery work is linked to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, which serve as the guiding paradigm for ensuring that no one is left behind.

On 14 September the members of the delegation took part in a round table “Sustainable Development of the Regions Affected by the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Accident” held Brahin district - one of the most affected by the catastrophe at the Chernobyl nuclear Power Plant. The event gathered the representatives of the affected communities who shared their experience in implementing development projects in such areas as socio-economic development, radiological quality, healthcare, education and culture.

The participants of the round table stressed that today the Chernobyl-affected regions of Belarus are leaders in initiative, innovations, investments and integration. Since 1990, the international community with the UN support implemented more than 80 rehabilitation and development programmes and projects at these territories. Affected regions of Homiel, Mahilieu and Brest regions gained tremendous experience and knowledge in resource mobilization, international cooperation, innovations and advanced knowledge, which strengthened the local potential in achieving sustainable development at the local level.

Development of local entrepreneurship, tourism, creation of new jobs, setting green local economies, inclusion of vulnerable groups into local development, healthy lifestyle promotion, especially among rural youth, trans-border cooperation on biodiversity conservation are the main priorities for pursuing the sustainable development in the Chernobyl-affected districts.

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