The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is observed every year on 30 November. Image Source: https://www.un.org/
The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is observed every year on 30 November. The day offers tribute to victims of chemical warfare, as well as to affirm the commitment of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to eliminate the threat of chemical weapons. It further aims to promote the goals of peace, security, and multilateralism. United Nations (UN) officially recognised the day and has been celebrated since 2005.
On the 2013 observance day, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon gave a speech where he said:
On this Remembrance Day, I urge the international community to intensify efforts to rid the world of chemical weapons, along with all other weapons of mass destruction. Let us work together to bring all States under the Convention and promote its full implementation. This is how we can best honour past victims and liberate future generations from the threat of chemical weapons.
Theme of Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare 2021
The day offers tribute to victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to eliminate the threat of chemical weapons. There is no specific theme for the day.
What are related observances?
There are primarily three related observances which is related to Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare. International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.
The International Day against Nuclear Tests is observed on 29 August. It was established on 2 December 2009, at the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly by the resolution 64/35, which was adopted unanimously. Since nuclear weapons testing began on 16 July 1945, over 2,000 tests have taken place. In the early days of nuclear testing, little consideration was given to its devastating effects on human life.
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.
History of Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare
It’s been more than a century since the serious efforts to achieve chemical disarmament culminated in the Chemical Weapons Convention. During World War I, various countries used chemical weapons on a massive scale, killing more than 100,000 people.
However, chemical weapons were not used on the battleground in Europe in World War II. After World War II, and with the advent of the nuclear arsenals, several nations gradually came to realise the marginal value of having chemical weapons in their weapon treasure.
UN adopted Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993 and came into force on 29 April 1997. The UN and its members ban chemical weapons entirely for everyone’s sake.
At the 10th Session of the Conference of the State Parties on 11 November 2005, United Nations Director-General of the Secretariat, Rogelio Pfirter, proposed a Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare. In addition, Pfirter’s proposal to erect a monument at the Hague to commemorate all chemical warfare victims was approved. This event was celebrated on 29 April because that’s the day the Chemical Weapons Convention went into effect.
In 2015, at the 20th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, observance day was changed 30 November.