Chernobyl Anniversary- Call for demonstrations

April 26th 2007 : International Day of symbolic action

(21st anniversary of the catastrophe at Chernobyl) and the start of an indefinite demonstration in front of the W.H.O. (World Health Organization) building in Geneva, Switzerland.

Suggested action :

Demonstrate in front of your local town hall or Health Ministry (for capital cities), either during the evening or day of April 26th 2007 with :
- 21 flaming torches symbolizing 21 years and the light that needs to be cast over the Chernobyl affair
- + 2 placards / banners carrying either of the following slogans :

Slogan 1 :


Slogan 2 :


The demonstrations need only a few people at each if you have some kind of structure to hold the torches. The aim of these actions is to both commemorate the 21 years since Chernobyl, and to draw attention to the start of the ‘permanent’ demonstration outside the W.H.O. building in Geneva starting that day. More information and a support petition are below.

Please let us know what kind of action you can organize; if possible write a short report after the event, with photos.

Contacts :

- Andre Lariviere (Reseau Sortir du Nucleaire) +33 (0)4 71 76 36 40 or +33 (0)6 76 69 54 98 andre.lariviere@sortirdunucleaire.fr (for feedback and planning)
- Anne-Cecile Reiman (Contratom-Geneve) +41 (0)22 321 5709
- Paul Roullaud (SDN Loire et Vilaine) +33 (0)2 40 87 60 47 paul.roullaud@free.fr
- http://www.independentwho.info


(Lasting presence in front of the WHO)
On May 28, 1959 the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) signed an agreement with the WHO (World Health Organization).

This agreement effectively put an end to free expression for the WHO, in matters concerning the impact of nuclear energy on health.

The agreement stipulates that WHO research programs must be first subjected to consultation, so that the studies do not release results that might be harmful to the IAEA, and that may stunt the promotion of nuclear power stations.

Thus, article I.3 of the agreement specifies that, ‘each time one of the parties proposes to undertake a program or activity in the domain which presents, or may present a major interest for the other party, the first will consult the second in order to come to a common understanding.’

Article III of the accord states :
1) The International Atomic Energy Agency and The World Health Organization recognize that they could be called upon to take certain restrictive measures in order to safeguard the confidential nature of information furnished to them…

2) Subject to arrangements which could be necessary to safeguard the confidential nature of certain documents, the secretary of the IAEA and the secretary of the WHO will keep each other up to date on all projects, and all work programs which could be of interest to the two parties.

Remember that the objective of the WHO as expressed in chapter 1 of its constitution ‘is to bring about the greatest possible rise in the level of health of all people’.
Chapter II indicates how the WHO would go about raising the level of health, exercising in particular the following functions :
- to furnish all information, and to give all advice and assistance in the domain of Health.
- to help entrain among people an enlightened attitude in all that concerns public health.

The terms of article III of the accord IAEA/WHO (quoted above) which impose confidentiality, that is to say silence, are contrary therefore to the constitution of the WHO.

This agreement is still in force today!
The most glaring outcome of the accord is the policy of non-assistance to the populations the most affected by Chernobyl disaster. All recent reports by the WHO have remained outrageously mute on this subject.

The entire nuclear edifice leans heavily on a pillar, this accord of 1959, which is nothing more than a forced marriage. Within the WHO there is certainly no unanimous opinion on this forced marriage. In order to dismantle the pillar, an action is necessary to draw attention to this question.

We propose therefore the following actions:

1) An international petition to be sent massively to the Health Minister of your country and to the WHO’s Director General.

2) To be outside the WHO building in Geneva every day of opening from April 26th (Chernobyl day) until the end of May 2007 (WHO’s 60th World Health Assembly + many activist events in Geneva at this occasion), and also for the following weeks and months through summer time, to strongly demand to modify the agreement with the IAEA.
This will take the form of a single person with a banner in front of the WHO building (supported if possible by a little team - some persons - standing nearby) who will stay there for more or less one week.
This action will be at a European scale which will give us the opportunity to build together a network of relationships beyond national borders.
If different European NGOs decide to be involved it would not be too difficult to find teams of 3 to 5 people to take turn in coming to Geneva for one week.
The participants will have to pay for their transportation, lodging and food (unless we find enough funding from NGO and individuals to help for a part of it).
The teams will have to be in place from the time employees arrive in the morning until they leave at night.
Daily, they will demand that the WHO regains its independence.
Each week, the results of internal contamination tests for one or more children will be given with their name, age and a label, ‘Abandoned by the WHO’.
The spirit of non violence goes hand in hand with this action, and its effectiveness lies on tenacity and repetition. A soft call to the WHO consciousness.
As an example: In Argentina, the wives of those missing under the dictatorship walked slowly and tirelessly around the Plaza de Mayo. In this way they contributed to the collapse of the regime. It is in this spirit that we lead an effective action and how better to express this than in the words of Galina Bandajevskaya, Dr Y. Bandajevsky’s wife, who was imprisoned for 6 years for having dared to speak the truth about Chernobyl: ‘little by little the rock is worn away, not by force, but by repetition’.

So far, the co-organizers of this action are : Réseau Sortir du nucléaire (French network for a nuclear phase-out), CRII-RAD, Enfants de Tchernobyl Belarus, Contratom-Geneva, Brut-de-Béton Production, SDN Loire et Vilaine.

And with the declared support of :
- WILPF International (Women International League for Peace and Freedom), Geneva
- WILPF (Women International League for Peace and Freedom), Norwegian Section
- CNIC (Citizen’s Nuclear Information Center), Japan
- CAAT (Campaign Against Arms Trade) Network, Nigeria
- MANW (Mediterranean Anti-Nuclear Watch), Greece
- NIRS (Nuclear Information and Resource Service) U.S.A.
- Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, New-York
- Bike for Peace, Norway
- PSR/IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of the Nuclear War) Swiss branch
- CETIM (Centre Europe Tiers-Monde) Suisse
- FES (Fondation Suisse de l’Energie > Schweizeriche Energie-Stiftung)
- AFMT (Association Française des Malades de la Thyroïde)
- Stop Golfech (Agen, France)
- Groupe non-violent L. Lecoin (Dunkerque, France)
- CSFR (Comité Sauvegarde Fessenheim et Rhin)
- CANVA (Coordination Action Non-Violente de l’Arche)

Amendment to the Agreement signed between the World Health Organization
and the International Atomic Energy Agency of, 28th May 1959.
Addressees: Mm Margaret Chan, Director General of the WHO and Minister of Health (of your country)

Madam, Director General,
Sir, Madam, Minister of Health,
Ladies and Gentlemen, delegates of the World Health Assembly,
The undersigned request that the revision of the Agreement W.H.O./IAEA (Res. WHA 12.40, of 28 May 1959 ) should be in place at the next World Health Summit.

47 years ago, at the outset of the program “Atoms for Peace,“ the World Health Assembly made an Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Later, since the Chernobyl disaster, it is evident that this agreement has prevented medical experts and above all, the WHO from speaking out loudly and clearly concerning the medical consequences both short and long term of this global catastrophe, given that this would have harmed the vital interests of the IAEA.

1. According to Article 1§2, “The WHO is aware that the principal task of the IAEA is to encourage, assist and co-ordinate research projects worldwide and the practical use of atomic energy with peaceable conclusions...” Article 1 § 3. foresees that “each time either party suggests the undertaking of a programme or activity which affords or could afford a major interest for the other party, the first consults the second with a view to a common settlement.“

Article 1 should be amended by shortening this sentence as follows: “The first party will inform the other” (full stop). In fact, if an exchange of information between two United Nations’ Agencies is perfectly correct the consultations between the WHO and the IAEA with regard to altering the facts in the interest of promoting nuclear energy are certainly not.

2. According to article 3, the WHO and the IAEA. realize that they might have to take certain restrictive measures to safeguard the nature of certain documents... the disclosure of which ... would somehow jeopardize the smooth running of their operations.”

Article 3 must be withdrawn. In fact, it is unacceptable that the WHO accepts the confidentiality of this data which would hamper the smooth running of the IAEA. Besides, this clause is in contravention of the WHO’s Constitution, which reminds us that all information of public opinions is one of the conditions essential to achieve “Health for all Mankind“.

3. According to article 7, the IAEA and the WHO are committed to avoid a double role when collecting, assembling and publishing the statistics and to confer with one another in order to make the best use of information, resources and technical personnel in the statistics’ department, including all statistics which have a bearing on a common interest.”

Article 7 must be withdrawn. In fact the WHO, one of whose constitutional factions is to “act as a leading authority and co-ordinator in domain of health,“ must henceforth regain its independence from the IAEA in the field of research and publications. The WHO must regain total independence with regard to commercial nuclear power, in order to assure the protection of mankind.

We would like you to request that at the next World Health Assembly, in May 2007 in Geneva, the revision of the Agreement WHO/ IAEA become part of the agenda, in accordance with the rules and that the presentation and adoption of the three amendments, above mentioned is put in place or that the Agreement should be denounced as is provisioned in Article 12. We consider that the catastrophe of Chernobyl has been such an enormous disaster for millions of people inhabiting this planet that it is now high time that the true facts and their consequences are brought to light, and that effective and long term aid can be set up for all people affected.

Name/First name


Association (if any)


Replies sent to :Madam Director General of WHO - 20 Avenue Appia - 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland Mail : inf@who.int and to the Minister of Health of your country. Make further copies of this petition and distribute them to as many people as possible ! Petition launched by Children of Chernobyl-Belarus, CRII-RAD, the French Nuclear Phase-out Network, Contratom Geneva, SDN Loire et Vilaine and Brut de Béton Production. Contact : andre.lariviere@sortirdunucleaire.fr www.independentwho.info