26 September 2019

By: Audrey Ferdinand


Photo: The Official CTBTO Photostream

The UN General Assembly adopted resolution 68/32 on December 2013, declaring 26 September the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. This date was chosen to recall the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament held on 26 September 2013, and the discussions and efforts of States towards nuclear disarmament that took place on that day.

The decision to create such an international day was part of the ongoing work of the UN against nuclear weapons that began in 2009 with the General Assembly declaring 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests. This effort was supplemented by the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 7 July 2017 – the first multilateral legally binding instrument for nuclear disarmament in 20 years! – and an Agenda for Disarmament launched by the Secretary-General in 2018, aimed at the elimination of nuclear weapons in the framework of “disarmament to save humanity.”

The aim of international days is to provide government and civil society an occasion to discuss a specific issue. This particular day aims to raise awareness of the issue of nuclear weapons and educate people about their consequences and why it is essential to work towards their complete elimination.

It is worth noting that the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons falls in the same week as the UN International Day for Peace (21 September), the UN Climate Change Summit (23 September) and the UN Summit on Sustainable Development Goals (25-27 September). All these issues are inter-related as nuclear weapons have terrible consequences for both people – through destruction and diseases – and for the environment – making lands unliveable and contaminating oceans.

Even though we believe, as an NGO, that nuclear weapons should be entirely eliminated and their construction prohibited, this position does not enjoy a consensus between States. Indeed, we note with concern that in August 2019, the United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, signed between the United States and Russia in 1987, giving the possibility for the USA and Russia to legally develop arms that were prohibited under the treaty.

Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ) would like to remind all States of the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, and especially the terrible suffering and health issues that resulted from the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On the occasion of this international day, GICJ calls on all stakeholders to work towards a safer world by being committed to total nuclear disarmament.  

Click here to read more about the threat of nuclear weapons.



International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, Resolution 68/32, Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, Geneva, geneva4justice, GICJ, Geneva International Centre for Justice

Justice, Human rights, Geneva, geneva4justice, GICJ, Geneva International Centre For Justice 



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