September 26, 2023, is the tenth International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
Join the United Nations and people around the world in raising awareness about nuclear weapons, promoting the universal obligation to achieve a nuclear weapons free world and calling on policy makers (legislators and governments) to take concrete action to implement this obligation.
The day is part of the UN High Level period running from September 21 (UN Day for Peace) until October 2 (UN Day for Non-violence).
We encourage you to:
We suggest that you call on your government to participate in the High Level Meeting at the highest level (Prime Minister/President) and include some or all of these points in their statement;
a) welcome the statement adopted by the G20 Leaders in Bali (November 2022) that “the threat or use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible“;
b) support policies of no-first-use to help prevent nuclear war and pave the way for nuclear disarmament;
c) highlight the role that common security can play to replace the reliance on nuclear deterrence;
d) call for a time-bound commitment to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons no later than 2045, and for this commitment to be affirmed at the UN Summit of the Future (September 2045) and the Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference (2026);
e) support cuts in the global nuclear weapons budget (currently over $100 billion per year), and an end to investments in the nuclear weapons industry, and a reallocating of these budgets and investments to support climate protection, peace and sustainable development.
Send a letter or email or tweet to your President/Prime Minister/Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the United Nations, with the above comments prior to the UN High Level Meeting on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons which takes place on Tuesday September 26, 2023.
Sample letter to your government urging them to promote nuclear abolition effectively in UN General Assembly High-Level General Debate (September 19-29, 2023) and the UN High-Level Meeting on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (September 26, 2023). The contact for your Ambassador (Permanent Representative) to the United Nations can be found in the UN online database or hardcopy list of UN Missions.
The President of the UN General Assembly will preside over the UNGA High Level General Debate from September 19-29, 2023 and host a High Level Meeting on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on September 26.
I/we urge you to speak at these meetings on the importance to: a) prevent any use of nuclear of nuclear weapons; b) achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world, and c) reallocate nuclear weapons budgets and investments to instead support peace, climate protection and sustainable development.
On Hiroshima Day August 6, 2023, the UN Secretary-General warned that we are in a time of nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War. “The drums of nuclear war are beating once again. Mistrust and division are on the rise. The nuclear shadow that loomed over the Cold War has re-emerged. And some countries are recklessly rattling the nuclear saber once again, threatening to use these tools of annihilation.”
Any use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic human, economic and environmental consequences. The use of just a small fraction of the 13,000 nuclear weapons in the world’s stockpiles could end civilization as we know it. In addition, the $100 billion spent annually on nuclear weapons is sorely needed for environmental, economic and human needs, including addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
I/we encourage you in particular to:
We invite you to take a photo of yourself and/or a colleague holding a sign ‘Don’t even think about starting a nuclear war’ outside the embassies or consulates of nine nuclear armed states – especially China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA.
These five have a special responsibility to prevent nuclear war as they are the permanent members of the UN Security Council and they are the nuclear-armed states that are parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The sign is a take-off of the no-parking sign ‘Don’t even think about parking here’. It indicates that the nuclear armed states should adhere to international law prohibiting the threat and use of nuclear weapons, just as drivers should adhere to laws about parking.
Photo by Sunny Ripert / Flicker, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
A Global Appeal to end the nuclear threat, abolish nuclear weapons and shift the weapons budgets and investments to support public health, COVID-19 recovery, the climate and sustainable development.
The appeal was launched on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, September 20, 2020. It was presented to the UN General Assembly in Disarmament Week, October 24-30, 2022, and will be presented to the UN Summit of the Future in September 2024.
The nuclear weapons possessed by nine countries threaten us all. Any use of these weapons by accident, miscalculation or malicious intent, would have catastrophic human, economic and environmental consequences. The use of just a small fraction of the 14,000 nuclear weapons in the world’s stockpiles could end civilization as we know it.
In addition, the $100 billion spent annually on nuclear weapons is sorely needed for environmental, economic and human needs, including addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the climate and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
We, the undersigned, call on our cities, parliaments and governments to:
Established by the United Nations General Assembly, the aim of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons is 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 immediate start of multilateral negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention – a global treaty by nuclear armed, nuclear allied and non-nuclear States to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.
The day is supported by the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, UNFOLD ZERO, Abolition 2000 Global Network for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and other civil society organizations.
UNFOLD ZERO provides a platform for information, events, actions and reports in commemoration of the day.