Ireland's Chernobyl Children International is at the centre of a UN commemoration ceremony in New York tonight.
A message from President Michael D Higgins has been read and a minute's silence held, to remember the victims of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
The event has been co-hosted by the charity's CEO, Adi Roche, who called for international recognition and a Nobel Prize nomination for the first responders to Chernobyl, known as ‘Liquidators’.
She said: “The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually to men and women, to international organisations, who have made the world a safer place to live – and nobody in the world worked harder and paid a higher price to try to make our world a safer place to live in...than the Liquidators who fought to contain the Chernobyl meltdown.”
The Permanent Missions of Belarus, Ukraine and Ireland to the United Nations, in collaboration with Chernobyl Children International hosted the event to honour the victims of the disaster and to recognise the cast and crew of the upcoming ‘Chernobyl’ mini-series, which tells the real “behind the scenes” story of the world’s worst nuclear accident.
“Chernobyl” dramatizes the 1986 nuclear accident that released radioactive material across Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, and brings to life the true story of the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save Europe from unimaginable disaster.
Irish actress Jessie Buckley plays Lyudmilla Ignatenko whose husband, Vasili, was one of the first responders to the explosion at the Nuclear Power Plant in 1986. Vasili subsequently died at the age of 25 as a result of the lethal levels of radiation exposure. Jessie recited a testimony of Lyudmila at the poignant, CCI-led event this afternoon.