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The Elders endorse IAEA’s call for safety and security protection zone at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

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Photo: Ihor Bondarenko / Shutterstock
Statement: The Elders remain seriously concerned about the risk of a severe nuclear accident at Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine’s and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, and reiterated their call for the immediate cessation of military activity at the site. The potential radiation spill-over effects of such an accident could have disastrous consequences for humanity and the environment.
 

They welcomed the recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that recommends the establishment of a safety and security zone at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, and are encouraged by the start of consultations on this issue.

As Russia’s war on Ukraine continues to evolve it is essential that no party does anything to compromise the safety of this nuclear facility.

Juan Manuel Santos, Nobel Peace Laureate, former President of Colombia and member of the Elders, said:

“The IAEA’s initiative to establish a safety and security zone at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is vital to prevent further shelling and reduce the risk of a nuclear accident. I urge all parties to work constructively with the IAEA to reach agreement on the zone without delay. All military activity near the plant must cease immediately if we are to avoid the risk of an international nuclear catastrophe.”

Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General and Deputy Chair of the Elders, said:

“Since Russia’s occupation of Zaporizhzhia in March 2022, the threat of a nuclear accident has been unacceptably high. The IAEA’s Support and Assistance Mission has paved the way towards stability and security at the site, and all necessary measures must now be taken to prevent risks in line with the IAEA’s recommendations. Securing the Zaporizhzhia plant is a vital component in preventing further unnecessary death and suffering in Ukraine and beyond.”

ENDS

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and Chair of The Elders

Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General and Deputy Chair of The Elders

Graça Machel, Founder of the Graça Machel Trust, co-founder and Deputy Chair of The Elders 

Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the WHO

Zeid Raad Al Hussein, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Hina Jilani, Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and co-chair of the Taskforce on Justice

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia and Nobel Peace Laureate

Ricardo Lagos, former President of Chile

Juan Manuel Santos, former President of Colombia and Nobel Peace Laureate

Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico

ENDS


For media inquiries, please contact William French, Head of Communications (+44 7795 69390) or email: [email protected]

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