“A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
Ronald Reagan, 1984 State of the Union
Nuclear weapons pose a unique threat to humanity. Not only could they destroy a whole city killing tens of thousands of people, cause severe damage to the climate and environment, but also tremendously affect lives of many more as they would suffer horrific injuries and later die from radiation exposure. The best way to avoid such happenings is to completely eliminate nuclear weapons, which the United Nations has been working on since its establishment. A number of treaties has come into existence seeking prevention of nuclear proliferation.
However, half of the world’s population lives in the nuclear weapon countries. It is certain, that the number of deployed nuclear weapons has been significantly reduced since the end of the Cold War, but around 14000 are still existent and some countries are even eager to modernize and improve their nuclear arsenals. We saw a handful of events in recent months, which witness that the world is not ready to disarm yet. The USA leaving the INF treaty, various nuclear weapon tests of the Democratic Republic of North Korea, Iran nuclear crisis – just to name a few. In addition, the entry into force of the CTBT doesn’t seem to make much progress either.
Therefore, it is indispensable to educate especially the younger generations about the threats and consequences these pose to our planet. The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons is observed every year on September 26 across the globe. It was proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by adopting resolution 68/32 in December 2013 with the main aim to raise public awareness and educate public about the necessity for their elimination. By doing this, the UN aspires to mobilize new international endeavors towards achieving the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.