September 26: International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

September 26 is United Nations International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (Nuclear Abolition Day).

It was established to enhance ‘public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination, in order to mobilize international efforts towards achieving the common goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.’

The resolution establishing the day also calls for the start of multilateral negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention – a global treaty negotiated by nuclear armed and non-nuclear States together to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Abolition Day occurs on the anniversary of the 1983 incident in which a nuclear war was almost initiated by accident (See The Man who Saved the World). The day occurs when world leaders (Presidents, Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers…) are in New York for the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). And it is just prior to the deliberations of the UN Disarmament and International Security Committee (First Committee).

Key actions and events for Nuclear Abolition Day

Sep 26 High Level Meeting. The United Nations will hold a half-day High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament at the UN headquarters in New York on September 26.The High-Level Meeting is just a forum for governments to make statements. However, it can be used to promote key initiatives. Click here if you would like to attend the High-Level Meeting as an observer (space is limited).

In addition, two civil society representatives will be chosen to speak at the High Level Conference. The UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) is preparing a nomination list. Contact UNODA for more information.

Support the UN Summit. The UN decided to hold a three-day High-Level Conference (Summit) on Nuclear Disarmament in May 2018. However, pro-nuclear forces have managed to have the Summit postponed, and are now trying to have the Summit cancelled altogether (See Nuclear Weapon States’ Long Arm Seen Behind Deferral of Landmark UN Conference). The summit would provide opportunities to make concrete progress on nuclear war prevention and disarmament initiatives, such as de-alerting, no-first use, nuclear stockpile reductions and building more support for the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Action: Sign the Avaaz petition supporting the UN High-Level Conference

Action: Send a letter to your government urging them to support the UN High-Level Conference.

Other actions and events

UNFOLD ZERO and Abolition 2000, the global civil society network for the elimination of nuclear weapons, are collating a list of actions and events around the world for Nuclear Abolition Day. Please inform us of events that you are organizing or know about.