(Cover image: Sculpture at the UN in New York made from fragments of Soviet SS-20 and United States Pershing nuclear missiles. UN Photo/Milton Grant)
September 26 is the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (Nuclear Abolition Day). It was established in 2013 by the United Nations General Assembly to encourage governments and civil society to act to eliminate the risk of nuclear war and achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.
All governments have accepted the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. Yet, today, some 15,000 nuclear weapons remain. More than half of the world’s population still lives in countries that either have such weapons or are members of nuclear alliances. And rising tensions – such as between North Korea and the US, Russia and the West, India and Pakistan – are increasing the risk of a nuclear catastrophe.
This makes public action on September 26 so important.
“There are many paths to a nuclear-weapons-free world. I appeal to all states to intensify their efforts to contribute to the shared vision in their own ways.”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Sep 26 Meeting at the United Nations
On September 26, the United Nations will hold a High-Level Meeting to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. In addition to government leaders, two PNND representatives have been chosen by the President of the UN General Assembly to address the UN. They are Marzhan Nurzhan (Kazakhstan) who is the convener of the Abolition 2000 Youth Working Group, and Dennis Kucinich (United States) who is a former US mayor and member of Congress and UN Liaison for Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.
Watch the UN High Level Meeting live on UNWebTV.
Social Media action
UNFOLD ZERO has launched a social media action for Sep 26: Reach HIGH for a nuclear-weapon-free world.
- Take a photo of yourself, or you and others, on a high place or reaching high, or lifting a peace sign/object up high;
- Post your photo on social media with the hashtags #ReachHIGH2018, #Sep26dontNukeUs, #abolishnukes, and/or #YouthAgainstNukes.
Contact UNFOLD ZERO for a sample peace sign to use in your action.
Call on governments: Support UN initiatives for nuclear disarmament
On September 26, call on your government to support United Nations initiatives for nuclear disarmament. These include signing and ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. For those not quite ready to reject nuclear weapons, they might consider actions related to the UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament.
Contacts for Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers and UN Ambassadors:
Parliamentarians and September 26
Call on your parliaments and parliamentarians to take action on September 26.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union, representing over 170 parliaments (including those of most of the nuclear-armed and allied States), has adopted a resolution by consensus calling on parliaments and parliamentarians to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, act to eliminate the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines and support a nuclear weapons convention.
For action ideas with parliaments, see the Parliamentary Action Plan for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World, released at the United Nations during the negotiations on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.