Secretary General Ban Emphasizes UN’s Role in Global Efforts on Nuclear Safety

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–20 May 2011.  Stressing that the United Nations has a “clear role to play” in nuclear safety, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that he would present world leaders with ideas on disaster preparedness at the annual meeting of the General Assembly this September.

Speaking at a video conference with the heads of UN agencies, discussing the implications of the damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami in March, Mr. Ban said nuclear safety is a matter of “global public interest.”

“The UN has a clear role to play in facilitating this discussion,” he said. “To advance this agenda, I will convene a high-level meeting on 22 September on nuclear safety and security.” Mr. Ban said that at that meeting he would “present a UN system-wide study on the implications of the nuclear accident at Fukushima.”

“The report will touch on a variety of areas, including environment, health, food security, sustainable development and the nexus between nuclear safety and nuclear security. It will also present system-wide views on how to improve disaster risk preparedness.”

The Secretary-General presented a five-point action plan on nuclear safety last month during a visit to Kiev, Ukraine.

Earlier this month he told a disaster risk reduction conference in Geneva that “we must accelerate our efforts. The world’s vulnerability to disaster risks is growing faster than our ability to increase resilience. As a result of global climate change, weather-related hazards are on the rise. Nuclear safety and the threat of multiple hazards add an even greater sense of urgency.”

The video conference is part of a series of such system-wide meetings with UN experts and agency chiefs to analyze the implications of the Fukushima incidents, and draw conclusions on nuclear and other risk preparedness.