International Day of Neutrality and its Significance

OV Digital Desk

Source: ©Sadek Ahmed

International Day of Neutrality is observed every year on 12 December. It is observed every year to advocate and campaign for mutually beneficial- and friendly relations between countries. As per UN, Neutrality is defined as the legal status arising from the abstention of a state from all participation in a war between other states, the maintenance of an attitude of impartiality toward the belligerents, and the recognition by the belligerents of this abstention and impartiality.

It is critically important for the United Nations to gain and keep the confidence and cooperation of all to operate independently and effectively, especially in situations that are politically charged. It is aimed at mediation and peace-making among nations.

In addition to observance for International Day of Neutrality, there are numerous other days which are thematic and relevant to the day. International Day of Peace is observed on 21 September, International Day of Friendship is observed on 3o July. Whereas International Day of Non-Violence and International Day for Tolerance is observed on 2 October and 16 November, respectively. Another thematic day is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development which is observed on 21 May.

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Theme of International Day of Neutrality 2021

It is observed every year to advocate and campaign for mutually beneficial- and friendly relations between countries. There is no specific theme of International Day of Neutrality 2021.

History of International Day of Neutrality

Amidst political tensions and escalating crises, it is of extreme importance to defend, promote, and encourage the peaceful resolution of international disputes in a manner consistent with the preservation of international peace and stability.

Consequently, neutrality contributes to the strengthening of peace and security in relevant regions and at the global level. In addition, it plays an active role in developing peaceful, friendly, and mutually beneficial relations among the countries of the world.

On 2 February 2017, the UN General Assembly adopted without a vote resolution 71/275 — introduced by Turkmenistan, recognized by the UN as a permanently neutral state since 12 December 1995 — which noted the link between the preservation of peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and declared 12 December as the International Day of Neutrality.

In addition, the resolution also calls on the UN Secretary-General to continue working closely with neutral states to implement the principles of preventive diplomacy and to utilize them in the mediation process.