In 2013, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) declared September 26 to be the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (Nuclear Abolition Day). The aims of the day are to enhance public awareness about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination.
The UNGA resolution establishing the day (UNGA Res 68 32) also calls for progress on a nuclear weapons convention – a global treaty involving the nuclear armed states in the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons under strict and effective international control.
September 26 is also the anniversary of the incident in 1983 when a nuclear war was almost launched due to malfunctions in the Soviet nuclear weapons early warning system, which erroneously detected a US ballistic missile attack against Moscow. The incident is graphically portrayed in the award winning docu-drama ‘The Man who Saved the World.’
UN commemoration event – High Level Meeting
The United Nations General Assembly will host a High Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament at the UN Headquarters on September 26. UN Member States will be represented by their Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers or UN Ambassadors. In addition, the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs will select two representatives from civil society to speak.
Global week of action on Peace, Climate, SDGs and Nuclear Abolition
The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons falls in the same week as the UN International Day for Peace (Sep 21), the UN Climate Summit (Sep 23) and the UN Summit on SDGs (Sep 24-25). As such, UNFOLD ZERO and Abolition 2000 have reached out to peace, devlopment and climate action networks to build cooperation for a Global Week of Action on Peace, Climate, Sustainable Development and Nuclear Abolition, Sep 21-27.
Governments, parliaments and civil society are encouraged to take action on any of these days, and to highlight the connections between these key global issues in their actions.
a) Organise a screening of ‘The Man who saved the World’ or other local event for Nuclear Abolition Day;
b) Encourage your Prime Minister/President to participate in the Sep 26 UN High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament, and to use this opportunity to call on all states to commit to never launch a nuclear war, and to negotiate an agreement for the the complete elimination of nuclear weapons (nuclear weapons convention);
c) Take action to support massive cuts in nuclear weapons budgets, end investments in nuclear weapons (including investments by your bank, city, pension fund, university, sovereign wealth fund etc…), and shift these budgets and investments to protecting the climate, ending poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. See Move the Nuclear Weapons Money actions.
List of events and actions for September 26
List in formation. Please click here to inform us of your event or action so we can list it below.
- UN High Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament, New York. Registration closes on August 23. The event will aslo be live-streamed on http://webtv.un.org/.