International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day Date in the current year: April 26, 2017

International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day Until recently, Memorial Day for the Victims of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident was observed only in the countries directly affected by the accident. However, in 2016 the United Nations General Assembly designated April 26 as International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day.

The Chernobyl accident, also referred to as the Chernobyl disaster, was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred in Ukraine (then the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic). On April 26, 1986 Reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was completely destroyed by an explosion caused by a catastrophic power increase. The explosion resulted in radioactive contamination of large parts of the USSR, now the territories of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Over 8 million people in these countries were exposed to radiation.

Four years passed after the accident before the Soviet government reluctantly acknowledged the need for international assistance in mitigating the consequences of the disaster. In 1990, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that called for international cooperation in overcoming the consequences of the Chernobyl accident.

Since 2002, the main focus of the Chernobyl strategy has been a long-term developmental approach instead of emergency humanitarian assistance. In 2009, the International Chernobyl Research and Information Network was launched to provide support to programs that aim to contribute to the sustainable development of affected territories.

International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day was inaugurated in 2016 to raise awareness of the consequences of the accident and to consolidate the effort to eliminate them.

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UN Observances

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International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day, UN observance, Chernobyl disaster, Chernobyl accident