International Day of Neutrality Date in the current year: December 12, 2018

International Day of Neutrality International Day of Neutrality is a United Nations observance held on December 12 each year. It was officially declared by a UN General Assembly resolution adopted in February 2017 and first observed on December 12 of the same year.

In international law, a neutral country is a sovereign state that abstains from all participation in a war between other states and maintains an attitude of impartiality toward the belligerents. The belligerents, in their turn, recognize this abstention and impartiality. A permanently neutral power is bound to be neutral in all future wars. The rights and duties of a neutral country are defined in the Hague Convention of 1907.

Although Switzerland was the first country to declare permanent neutrality in 1815, Turkmenistan was the first state whose complete neutrality was formally recognized by the United Nations. On December 12, 1995 the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 50/80 recognizing and supporting the status of permanent neutrality declared by Turkmenistan. The anniversary of this event has been observed as International Day of Neutrality since 2017.

The policy of neutrality adopted by some states is a vital contribution to the strengthening of peace and security, as well as to the development of friendly, peaceful and mutually beneficial relations between the states of the world.

The UN General Assembly calls for all Member States, organizations of all levels and concerned individuals to hold educational events aimed to raise public awareness of the value of neutrality in international relations.

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UN Observances

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International Day of Neutrality, UN observance, international observance, permanent neutrality