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Summary: 24 October 2014, New York – European Union Statement delivered by H.E. Mr. Ioannis Vrailas, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the United Nations Fourth Committee on Agenda item 48: Effects of Atomic Radiation

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Mr. Chairman,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland+, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this statement.

The EU and its Member States wish to express their satisfaction with the outcome of the 61st Session of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation held in Vienna from 21 to 25 July 2014.

The work and assessments undertaken by the Scientific Committee in assessing the effects of radiation on human health and the environment are important. They have played an important role in improving international scientific understanding of levels of exposure to ionizing radiation and its health and environmental effects. On the basis of its scientific authority, the Committee is essential in supplying the international community with information within various areas connected to the sources, exposures and effects of ionizing radiation.

We therefore welcome the report on the levels and effects of radiation exposure due to the Fukushima Daiichi accident. We recognize the extensive work by experts, delegations and the secretariat and hence, the resulting quality of this report.

We welcome the Scientific Committee’s continued high priority with respect to protection from medical exposure to radiation. We as well welcome the related review of scientific knowledge on such a medical exposure and recognize its central role for the evaluation of both health effects of exposure to low-dose radiation and the risk of second cancers after radiotherapy which involves exposures to higher doses.

We also welcome the proposal of the Scientific Committee to consider, at its sixty-second session, preliminary plans for developing evaluations of low-dose radiation exposure of the public to naturally occurring and artificial environmental sources of radiation.

In this respect, we welcome the Scientific Committee’s recalling of the stressing need for epidemiological studies on low dose to be aligned with good quality criteria as set out in its 2006 report.

Another point which is welcome is the Scientific Committee’s intention to complete an extensive review of the effects of radiation exposure on children. Indeed, exposure to radiation in the infancy increases the time necessary for the very slow process of cancer to finally develop compared to the time left for this disease to develop after adult exposure. We therefore welcome the early completion of such an extensive review which will help implementing the appropriate protection of children.

Mr. Chairman,

The European Union welcomes the present programme of work of the Committee, which is in line with our own priorities. We are in particular looking forward to receiving the report on radiation exposure from electricity generation expected to be finished by the sixty-second session.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.

* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

+ Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.

  • Ref: EUUN14-162EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: Fourth Committee - Special Political and Decolonization Committee
  • Date: 24/10/2014

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