UN Disarmament Week

The UN Disarmament Week is observed from October 24 to 30.

Key facts

  • The UN Disarmament Week is observed to raise awareness and improve understanding of the significance and challenges of disarmament.
  • The week starts on October 24, which marks the anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (UN).
  • Since the UN was founded, disarmament and arms control has been one of its major focus areas.
  • The week-long annual event advocates for the ending of diplomatic tensions with political dialogue and negotiations instead of using more arms and ammunition. 
  • It calls for the elimination of all materials that support armed conflicts.
  • During the week, the UN and the participating states and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) promote the importance of confidence-building measures among member states to end armed conflicts and overcome border tensions and other challenges.
  • Discussions are also held about safeguarding people from the dangers of guns and the importance of disarmament of weapons of mass destruction.

Background

The annual observance of the UN Disarmament Week was first proposed in the Final Document of the UN General Assembly’s 1978 special session on disarmament. After this, Disarmament Week was observed for the first time. In 1995, the UNGA invited governments and NGOs to continue participating in Disarmament Week to improve the understanding of disarmament issues. In 2019, the observance of Disarmament Week was led by women for the first time.

About United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC)

United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC) was set up in 1952 to create proposals for treaties regulating and reducing the number of armed forces and weapons possessed by countries. In the initial years, the commission met only a few times. It was succeeded by other disarmament-related bodies. The second iteration of the commission was set up in 1978 as a subsidiary of the UN General Assembly. It has all UN members and meets annually in New York for around 3 weeks. It provides recommendations focusing on disarmament.

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