MINSK, 21 April (BelTA) – A session of the Sustainable Development Council took place at premises of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with assistance of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on 21 April, BelTA has learned.
The event took place in anticipation of the International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day, which was instituted by the United Nations Organization upon Belarus' initiative. It was dedicated to ways to improve the government's efforts to develop the regions affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe by means of involving agencies, programs, and funds of the United Nations Organization.
Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yuri Ambrazevich mentioned the strategic expansion of the focus of national Chernobyl-related efforts from aid and rehabilitation to the development of the economic potential and the human potential of the affected regions. He mentioned Belarus is interested in inviting international partners for the accomplishment of practical tasks concerning the sustainable development of these regions and the population.
Yuri Ambrazevich noted that the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals should be an adequate agenda for Chernobyl-affected areas of Belarus and for the capital city and the country as a whole.
Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the Republic of Belarus Alexandra Solovieva remarked upon tight interaction with local, national and international partners for the sake of development of the affected territories. Over 30 years of working with Belarus the UNDP has accumulated extensive experience in the area of regional development, namely in support for entrepreneurship, public healthcare, education, work with youth, preservation of natural resources, development of ecotourism, and preservation of cultural legacy.
Alexandra Solovieva stressed that support for regional development is one of the key strategic avenues within the framework of current cooperation and prospective cooperation between the UNDP and Belarus. The government and the UNDP will use results of the discussion to improve bilateral partnership procedures for the sake of facilitating the sustainable development of Belarus' Chernobyl-affected territories.