The United Nations (UN) marks the start of Disarmament Week on Tuesday, a week-long event that aims to raise awareness of the importance of disarmament for international and humanitarian security. The event coincides with the anniversary of the UN’s founding and features various activities.
The UN Information Centre explains that the first call for the annual observance of this occasion was made in 1978, in the final document of the special session of the General Assembly on Disarmament. In 1995, the General Assembly invited governments and non-governmental organizations to actively participate in Disarmament Week events and to inform the public about disarmament issues.
The UN stresses that disarmament has been a vital goal for countries throughout history, as a way to create a safer and more secure world and to protect people from harm. Since the establishment of the UN, disarmament, and arms control efforts have played a crucial role in preventing and resolving crises and armed conflicts.
The UN expresses its concern about weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons, which pose a grave threat to all humanity with their devastating power. It also warns that the excessive accumulation and illicit trade of conventional weapons endanger international peace, security, and sustainable development.
The UN points out that civilians are at risk from the use of heavy conventional weapons in populated areas, and that new and emerging weapons technologies, such as autonomous weapons, pose challenges to global security. These issues have attracted increased attention from the international community in recent years.
The UN lists several reasons why disarmament measures are imperative, such as: maintaining international peace and security, upholding humanitarian principles, protecting civilians, promoting sustainable development, enhancing trust between states, and preventing and ending armed conflicts. The UN affirms that disarmament and arms control measures help ensure international and humanitarian security in the 21st century.
The UN also celebrates the efforts and contributions of various actors who work towards achieving a more secure and peaceful common future through disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation initiatives.