International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness Date in the current year: March 5, 2024

International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness The International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness is observed annually on March 5. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly to promote better understanding of disarmament among the general audience, with a special emphasis on raising disarmament awareness among young people.

Disarmament is the act of reducing, limiting or abolishing weapons. The term may refer to a certain country’s military or a specific type of weapons; it is often used to refer to total elimination of weapons of mass destruction (biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological warfare). Non-proliferation is the act of controlling the spread of weapons, especially chemical or nuclear weapons.

The first negotiations concerning disarmament and the creation of an international court with binding powers for the settlement of international disputes took place at the Hague peace conferences of 1899 and 1907. The third conference was supposed to take place in 1914, but it didn’t happen due to World War I, which was caused, among other things, by the arms race among the great powers. After the war, Germany was effectively disarmed by the Treaty of Versailles, which also called for gradual disarmament of all the great powers.

However, Germany withdrew from the League of Nations and the World Disarmament Conference following the establishment of the Nazi regime in 1933 and launched a rearmament program. We all know how it ended: in September 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, and World War II began. After the war, the League of Nations was replaced by the United Nations. Multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation have been among the UN’s main goals since the organization’s inception.

The mere existence of weapons of mass destruction (especially nuclear weapons), an excessive accumulation of conventional weapons, the illicit trade in light weapons and small arms, and the emergence of new weapon technologies put international peace and security into jeopardy and hinder sustainable development. Because of this, the United Nations works hard to raise disarmament and non-proliferation awareness.

The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs was established in its present form in 1998 specifically to promote disarmament efforts, with a special focus on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. One of its five branches is the Information and Outreach Branch that organizes a wide variety of programs and events to raise global awareness about the importance of disarmament among the general public.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed March 5 as the International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness by its resolution adopted on December 7, 2022. The main goals of the observance are to promote peace and security worldwide, strengthen the role of the United Nations in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, and encourage UN member states, international organizations, academia, civil society, the private sector, and other relevant stakeholders to raise disarmament awareness through educational and other activities.

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