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International Day of Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

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    26th Sep, 2022


Every year International Day of Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons is celebrated on September 26.

  • The Day has been observed annually since 2014.


  • The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (or Nuclear Abolition Day) has been held every year on September 26 since 2014.
  • The day was declared by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 2013.
  • The aim of the day is to enhance public awareness about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination.
  • On this day, countries around the world are encouraged to reaffirm their commitment to nuclear disarmament.
  • There are currently 14,000 nuclear weapons in the world. The nine countries that possess nuclear weapons include-
    • Russia
    • United States
    • France
    • China
    • United Kingdom
    • Pakistan
    • India
    • Israel
    • North Korea
  • Russia has the most nuclear warheads with 6,850. The United States is close behind with 6,550.

United Nations and Nuclear Weapons

  • In 1963, the Partial Test Ban Treaty was signed. It banned testing of nuclear weapons in outer space and under water.
  • In 1967, the Treaty of Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin American and Caribbean was signed. It established the first nuclear weapon free zone.
  • In 2017, the Treaty of Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was signed. It is the first multilateral treaty that binded nuclear disarmament at large scale
  • In 2020, the 50th anniversary of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was celebrated.

About START Treaty

  • START is the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty that was signed between the USSR and USA in 1991. 
  • The treaty barred the countries from using nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. 
    • It expired in 2009. 
  • The Strategic Offensive Reductions (SORT) was signed between the countries in 2003 and expired in 2011. 
  • The New START treaty followed the SORT and was signed in 2010. 
    • It expires in 2021.
  • However, none of the treaties limited the piling of nuclear warheads stocked by the USA and Russia.

Significance of Nuclear weapons elimination day:

  • The decision to observe International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was taken in 2013, by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
  • It 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”.
  • This day is observed to make people aware across the globe about the threats posed by nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation.

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