The United Nations observes 26 September every year as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. The aim of the day is to enhance public awareness about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination. It provides an opportunity to educate the public and their leaders about the real benefits of eliminating such weapons, and the social and economic costs of perpetuating them.
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International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons 2022: History
In 1946, the General Assembly’s first resolution established that the Atomic Energy Commission has the mandate to make specific proposals for the control of nuclear energy and the elimination of not only atomic weapons but also all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.
The General Assembly endorsed the objective of general and complete disarmament in 1959. The first Special Session of the General Assembly Devoted to Disarmament, held in 1978, further recognized that nuclear disarmament should be the priority objective in the field of disarmament. This goal has been actively promoted by every United Nations Secretary-General.
The international arms-control framework contributed to international security since the Cold War. It also acted as a brake on the use of nuclear weapons. On July 7, 2017, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted. This Treaty is so important since it is the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament to have been negotiated in 20 years. On August 2, 2019, the United States’ withdrawal spelt the end of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, though the United States and the Russian Federation had previously committed to eliminating an entire class of nuclear missiles. September 26 is commemorated by the General Assembly as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.