At a reception to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, the UN Secretary-General expressed in his
message that "Most people's impression of radiation is shaped by their concern about nuclear weapons, augmented by fear of cancer and hereditary damage. In order to gauge radiation levels and protect people, we need dependable scientific information, honestly assessed by the finest expertise. It is precisely in this respect that UNSCEAR has proved its worth."
Hans Blix, special guest speaker at the ceremony, said that "Without the immense work of the Committee over the years, the necessary international harmonization on safety matters could not have been achieved." He added that "This century will call for an UNSCEAR that remains independent, scientifically authoritative and increasingly ambitious to cope with growing challenges." He believed that UNSCEAR should also make itself and its work better known. "It is essential that UNSCEAR's conclusions be heard loud and clear", he said.
Mr. Peter Burns, Chairman, UNSCEAR, in his closing remarks said that "although many of the issues of concern in the 1950s have been resolved to some degree, the assessment of chronic low-level exposures from radioactive waste, nuclear power production and radiation emergencies and accidents are still areas of concern."
The reception was hosted by Dr. Michael Häupl, mayor and Governor of Vienna, at the Vienna Rathaus on 30 May 2006, and was attended by some 180 ambassadors, members of the diplomatic corps, scientists and guests.
Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, Executive City Councillor for Cultural Affairs and Science >>full text
Frits Schlingemann, Director and Regional Representative, United Nations Environment Programme, Regional Office for Europe (UNEP) >>full text
Werner Burkart, Deputy Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) >>full text
Susanne Weber-Mosdorf, Assistant Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO) >>full text
Peter Burns, Chairman, United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) >>full text