The General Assembly declared the International Day in December 2013, in its resolution 68/32 as a follow-up to the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament held on 26 September 2013, in New York. This was the latest in a series of efforts by the General Assembly to raise public awareness and to seek deeper engagement on nuclear disarmament matters. In 2009, the General Assembly had declared 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests (resolution 64/35).
In resolution 68/32, the General Assembly called for the “urgent commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament of a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons to prohibit their possession, development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer and use or threat of use, and to provide for their destruction.”
In 2014, in its resolution 69/58, the General Assembly further expressed its desire to commemorate the Day, and requested the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly to make all arrangements necessary to commemorate and promote it, including by convening an annual meeting of the Assembly to commemorate the International Day and to provide a platform for the promotion of these activities. The General Assembly repeated these requests and call in subsequent years in its resolutions 70/34, 71/71, 72/251, 73/40, 74/54, 75/45, 76/36 and 77/47.
The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons has been observed annually since 2014. Pursuant to the resolutions of the General Assembly, Member States, the United Nations system and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, academia, parliamentarians, the mass media and individuals are encouraged to commemorate and promote the International Day through enhancing public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination. To observe the International Day, the United Nations is supporting events both in New York and Geneva. United Nations Information Centres around the world are encouraged to raise awareness to the observance of International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
More information can be found on the website of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
The High-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate and promote the “International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons” took place on 26 September 2023 from 10:00- 13:00 and 15:00- 18:00 in Conference Room 4 at the United Nations Headquarters.
The webcast of the High-level plenary meeting can be found here.
The remarks of the Secretary-General of the United Nations can be found here.