International Day of Total Elimination 2022
The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons has been commemorated every year since its proclamation in 2013. The day provides an opportunity for states to recommit to the priority of nuclear disarmament. The day in 2022 included a high-level session of the General Assembly and hundreds of civil society events around the world.
At UN Headquarters, UN Secretary-General António Guterres opened the session by saying, “We come together on this international day to speak with one voice. To defend our world – and our future. And to reject the assertion that nuclear disarmament is an impossible utopian dream.
The majority of countries that spoke welcomed the successful conclusion of the first meeting of TPNW States Parties, including Lesotho, Cuba, Côte d’Ivoire, Trinidad and Tobago, Burkina Faso, Namibia, Philippines and the Non-Aligned Movement (among others).
Many states also spoke of the urgency of eliminating nuclear weapons in the face of the current state of high risk. Assessing the situation, the Ghana delegation said that nuclear weapons “do not guarantee national security, nor can they ensure global strategic stability”, adding that they “continue to pose an existential threat to the world as we ‘have seen with the nuclear situation’. in the Middle East, the escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula and the aggression against Ukraine, which leave no doubt in all of us that the nuclear doctrines of the past are not valid.
Recalling the humanitarian impacts of previous nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific, Kiribati President Taneti Maamau called for the creation of an international trust fund for states parties affected by the use or testing of nuclear weapons . This is one of the key considerations and follow-up actions that emerged from the first meeting of States Parties to the TPNW earlier this year, and according to Maamau “would be essential to the implementation of Articles VI and VII of the United Nations Nuclear Ban Treaty”. Weapons.”
Elsewhere in the world, ICAN partners have also taken steps to commemorate this day. Highlights include:
- Australian activists have welcomed a statement from ten independent federal parliamentarians urging the new Labor government to continue with its pre-election commitment to sign and ratify the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty.
- In Sweden, an installation of Amnesia Atomica by artist Pedro Reyes accompanied a demonstration held at the Swedish parliament.
- By delivering letters to bank managers at Wells Fargo and Bank of America, Norfolk Catholic Worker and Pax Christi Hampton Roads linked continued funding of nuclear weapons companies to continued investment in fossil fuel projects saying, “Budgets are moral documents. It is time to demand that these financial institutions invest in infrastructures that support the life and health of all!
- ICAN activists in Scotland stood in cold, rainy streets outside branches of NatWest Bank and the University of Edinburgh Library, handing out leaflets to customers and passers-by. While across the UK, CND partners have taken action at Rolls Royce and UK atomic weapons establishments to draw attention to emerging nuclear dangers.
- Across the United States, activists have staged protests against nuclear weapons makers Lockheed Martin and Raytheon and the Veterans for Peace Project ‘The Golden Rule’ has sailed along the Mississippi River to raise awareness of the threats nuclear and the TPNW.