24 October: Disarmament Week 2022 and its Significance

24 October: Disarmament Week 2022 and its Significance

Disarmament Week seeks to promote awareness and better understanding of disarmament issues and their cross-cutting importance. Starting on 24 October, the anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, the week-long annual observance was first called for in the Final Document of the General Assembly’s 1978 special session on disarmament. The observation begins on 24 October and concludes on 30 October.

Throughout history, countries have pursued disarmament to build a safer, more secure world and to protect people from harm. Since the foundation of the United Nations, disarmament and arms control have played a critical role in preventing and ending crises and armed conflict. Heightened tensions and dangers are better resolved through serious political dialogue and negotiation—not by more arms.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres conveyed:

Disarmament must be brought back to the centre of our common efforts for peace and security.

Theme of Disarmament Week 2022

Disarmament Week seeks to promote awareness and better understanding of disarmament issues and their cross-cutting importance. Starting on 24 October, the anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, the week-long annual observance was first called for in the Final Document of the General Assembly’s 1978 special session on disarmament. The observation begins on 24 October and concludes on 30 October.

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Quick Facts about disarmament

The nuclear-weapon states (NWS) are the five states—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States—officially recognized as possessing nuclear weapons by the NPT. Here are quick facts about US nuclear arms:

  • Total number of nuclear missiles built, 1951-present: 67,500
  • Estimated construction costs for more than 1,000 ICBM launch pads and silos, and support facilities, from 1957-1964: nearly $14,000,000,000
  • Peak number of US nuclear warheads and bombs in the stockpile/year: 32,193/1966
  • Largest and smallest nuclear bombs ever deployed: B17/B24 (~42,000 lbs., 10-15 megatons); W54 (51 lbs., .01 kilotons, .02 kilotons-1 kiloton)

 

History of Disarmament Week

Disarmament Week starts on the same day the United Nations (U.N.) was founded – October 24, 1945. Disarmament Week was first established in 1978 after the United Nations General Assembly held a special session on disarmament. Eventually, in 1995, the General Assembly invited governments, non-governmental organizations, and other international agencies to take part in Disarmament Week, as outlined in a “Final Document.” They participated to show their support and spread awareness about global issues like disarmament.

In 1952, the U.N. Security Council made inroads into this disarmament agenda by setting up the United Nations Disarmament Commission (U.N.D.C.), which was charged with the task of preparing proposal documents to instate a treaty for regulating and reducing the number of armed forces and weapons possessed by nations around the world. Also, it urges countries to get rid of all their nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Globally, there are still around 30,000 to 50,000 nuclear warheads.

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OV Digital Desk