Achieving global nuclear disarmament is one of the oldest goals of the United Nations. Basically this was the ultimate goal for achieving which UN started its journey nuclear disarmament has remained the most important and urgent objective of the United Nations in this field. 1946, General Assembly's first resolution was regarding nuclear disarmament. General and complete disarmament first came onto the General Assembly's agenda in 1959. Since 1975, it has been a prominent theme of the review conferences of States parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In 1978, the General Assembly's first Special Session on disarmament reaffirmed that effective measures for nuclear disarmament have the highest priority.
As of 2017, there have been major reductions in deployed nuclear weapons since the height of the Cold War. However, not even one nuclear warhead has been physically destroyed pursuant to a treaty, bilateral or multilateral, and no nuclear disarmament negotiations are underway. Surprisingly the doctrine of nuclear deterrence persists as an element in the security policies of all possessor states and their nuclear allies. The prevailing security challenges cannot be an excuse for continued reliance on nuclear weapons and for abrogating our shared responsibility to seek a more peaceful international society.
These facts provide the foundation for the General Assembly's designation of 26 September as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Commemorating this Day at the United Nations is especially important, given its universal membership and its long experience in grappling with nuclear disarmament issues. It is the right place to address one of humanity's greatest challenges, achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.
The General Assembly declared the International Day in December 2013, in resolution A/RES/68/32 as a follow-up to the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament held on 26 September 2013. This Day provides an occasion for the world community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament as a high priority. It also provides an opportunity to educate the public and their leaders about the real benefits of complete elimination of such weapons and the social and economic costs of perpetuating them. The said resolution on 5 December 2013 was adopted with a vote of 137-28 with 20 abstentions.
In the backdrop of declaring 26 September as the International day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, the Assembly called upon Member States, the United Nations system and civil society, including non-governmental organisations, academia, parliamentarians, the mass media and individuals, to commemorate and promote the International Day through all means of educational and public awareness-raising activities about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination in order to mobilise international efforts towards achieving the common goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
Compiled by Law Desk (SOURCE: UN.ORG).