United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation
United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) was established by the General Assembly resolution 913 (X) of December 3, 1955 with the purpose to organize the collection and evaluation of information on the effects of radiation on human beings and the environment.
The UNSCEAR Secretariat is located in Vienna (Austria). The UNSCEAR tasks are to assess and prepare scientific reports on the levels and effects of radiation on human health and the environment. UNSCEAR reports are regarded by the international community as a reliable and comprehensive source of information and are widely used to assess the risks and take action to protect against radiation. Reports are available online.
The Republic of Belarus supports active cooperation with UNSCEAR for a number of years. Belarus offers to UNSCEAR information and knowledge about the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. However, the cooperation between Belarus and UNSCEAR is not limited to Chernobyl issues.
Epidemiological studies of Belarusian scientists on the relationship between effects of radiation and development of cancer, cardiovascular and other diseases, the immune system reactions of the body are regularly quoted in the UNSCEAR reports. In turn, the UNSCEAR reports are used in Belarus to develop national standards for radiation protection of the population and the environment.
UNSCEAR initially included 15 UN member states: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Egypt, India, Canada, Mexico, USSR, USA, France, Czechoslovakia, Sweden and Japan. Subsequently, the membership of the UNSCEAR expanded: Germany, Indonesia, Peru, Poland, Sudan became UNSCEAR members in 1973, China – in 1986. In December 2011 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which invited six more countries to join the UNSCEAR– Belarus, Pakistan, Spain, Finland, South Korea and Ukraine.
Belarus' joining the UNSCEAR was a sign of the international recognition of scientific potential in the field of studying the effects of radiation exposure on human beings and the environment. It also became an evidence that Belarus is seeing as reliable and responsible user of nuclear technology, including in the context of construction of its first nuclear power plant. Membership in the UNSCEAR allows Belarus to intensify the cooperation of the academic institutions with foreign research centers. Professor Ya.E.Kenigsberg was appointed as the first representative of Belarus to the UNSCEAR.
Since 2014, Belarus is represented in UNSCEAR by professor A.M. Stazharau. The Ministry of Healthcare of Belarus is responsible for the cooperation with the UNSCEAR.