A UN High-Level Event with a
Call on Governments and Social Media Action
(September 23, 2021) — September 26 is the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. The day was established by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to advance public awareness and government action to prevent nuclear war and to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.
Established by the United Nations General Assembly, the aim of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weaponsis to enhance ‘public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination, in order to mobilize international efforts towards achieving the common goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.’ The resolution establishing the day also calls for the immediate start of multilateral negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention – a global treaty to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons – and decides to hold a high level United Nations conference no later than 2018 to review and enhance progress.
The day is supported by UNFOLD ZEROand the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs. UNFOLD ZERO provides a platform for governments, parliaments and civil society to post announcements, photos and reports of actions and events to commemorate this day.
The Inter Parliamentary Union (164 member parliaments) has called on all parliamentarians to promote and commemorate the day.
Global Meeting on September 28
The President of the UNGA will host a UN High Level Meeting on September 28 where government representatives (Presidents/Prime Ministers, Defence/Foreign Ministers…) and civil society representatives will put forward their plans and proposals for nuclear disarmament. (See List of speakers for Sep 28 High Level Meeting). You can watch the event live on UNTV or view the recorded event later.
We encourage you to take one or more of the following actions in conjunction with the day:
• Do a social media action: Don’t even THINK about starting a nuclear war:
• Endorse Protect People and the Planet: Appeal for a Nuclear Weapon Free World. (See below.)
Encourage your government representative at the UN High Level meeting to promote/support concrete measures to prevent nuclear war, eliminate nuclear weapons and shift nuclear weapons budgets and investments to better thingssuch as peace, climate stabilisation, public health and sustainable development; (See Sample letter to governments).
Social Media Action:
“Don’t Even THINK About Starting a Nuclear War”
Take a selfie with the sign outside embassies of the nuclear weapon states. Here the action is done in front of the Russian and USA embassies in Prague. To download the sign and for more information please see NoFirstUse Global social media action.
Protect People and the Planet: Appeal for a Nuclear Weapon Free World
The appeal was launched on the International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons last year, and will be presented to the UN member governments during Disarmament Week Oct 24-30, 2021.
It calls on cities, parliaments and governments to:
• Affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, and adopt policies never to initiate a nuclear war (no-first-use policies);
• Commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons no later than 2045, the 100th anniversary of the United Nations;
• Cut nuclear weapons budgets, end investments in the nuclear weapons industry, and redirect these investments and budgets to advancing diplomacy, supporting COVID-19 management and recovery, enhancing the United Nations and financing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Appeal for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World
A Global Appeal to end the nuclear threat, abolish nuclear weapons and shift the weapons budgets and investments to support public health, COVID-19 recovery, the climate and sustainable development.
The appeal was launched on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, September 20, 2020, and will be presented to the UN General Assembly during Disarmament Week, Oct 24-30, 2021.
The nuclear weapons possessed by nine countries threaten us all. Any use of these weapons by accident, miscalculation or malicious intent, would have catastrophic human, economic and environmental consequences. The use of just a small fraction of the 14,000 nuclear weapons in the world’s stockpiles could end civilization as we know it.
In addition, the $100 billion spent annually on nuclear weapons is sorely needed for environmental, economic and human needs, including addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the climate and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
We, the undersigned, call on our cities, parliaments and governments to:
• Affirm that nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, and therefore the nuclear armed States should stand down their nuclear forces and affirm policies never to initiate a nuclear war (no-first-use policies);
• Commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons by 2045, the 100th anniversary of the United Nations;
• Cut nuclear weapons budgets (if they are a nuclear-weapon State), end investments in the nuclear weapons industry (all governments), and redirect these investments and budgets to support the United Nations, COVID-19 management and recovery, drastic reductions in carbon emissions to protect the climate, and financing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
ACTION: Ask your leaders to speak at the UN General Debate and/or the 2021 UN High-Level Meeting on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and:
a) affirm that a nuclear war should never be fought,
b) call for the total elimination of nuclear weapons no later than 2045, and
c) support the end of investments in the nuclear weapons industry.
Send a letter or email or tweet to your President/Prime Minister/Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the United Nations, calling on them to promote nuclear abolition at the UN General Debate and/or the UN High Level Meeting on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons whicn will take place on September 28, 2021
The 2021 UN General Assembly Opening Session runs from September 21 – 28, culminating in a High Level Meeting on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on September 28.
I/we urge you to speak at these meetings on the importance to: a) prevent any use of nuclear of nuclear weapons; b) achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world, and c) cut nuclear weapons budgets and investments.
Any use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic human, economic and environmental consequences. The use of just a small fraction of the 13,000 nuclear weapons in the world’s stockpiles could end civilization as we know it. In addition, the $100 billion spent annually on nuclear weapons is sorely needed for environmental, economic and human needs, including addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
I/we encourage you in particular to:
• Call on all States to affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, and therefore the nuclear armed States should affirm policies never to initiate a nuclear war (no-first-use policies);
• Call on nuclear armed and allied States to commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons no later than 2045, the 100th anniversary of the United Nations;
• Call on the nuclear armed States to cut their nuclear weapons budgets, and on all States to end investments in the nuclear weapons industry, and redirect these investments and budgets to supporting COVID-19 management and recovery, supporting the United Nations and financing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Selected Quotes from Endorsers
• Kehkashan Basu (Canada)
“How can the powerful nuclear club of nations waste money on their nuclear stockpiles when they cannot even provide something as basic as ventilators during Covid to their citizens? The new normal must be built on the basis of complete abolition of nuclear weapons. Only then can we truly build back better!”
Kehkashan Basu. Founder/President, Green Hope Foundation. Winner, 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize. Winner 2020 Voices Youth Gorbachev-Shultz Legacy Award for Nuclear Disarmament
• Baroness Sue Miller (UK)
“The UK cannot afford the outdated thinking of renewing the Trident nuclear system. As well as making us more of a target and less safe, we desperately need the billions of pounds Trident will cost to invest in our health service, education and other public service.”
Baroness Sue Miller, PNND Co-President. Vice-Chair, UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Security and Non-proliferation
• Daniel Ellsberg (USA)
“The US and Russia should renounce preemptive first-strike and launch of ICBMs on warning, demonstrated by eliminating land-based ICBMs.”
Daniel Ellsberg, Author, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Co-author, The Pentagon Papers
• Nnimmo Bassey (Nigeria)
“At a time the world faces multiple upheavals including from the COVID-19 pandemic, weapons of mass destruction are totally abhorrent. Nuclear weapons are wasteful and having them should be seen as a criminal intent to wreak harms against humanity and the Planet. This is a time to build resilience, restore habitats and build harmonious relationships between nations and with Nature. Not a time to destroy!”
Nnimmo Bassey. Founder, Health of Mother Earth Foundation. Former Chair, Friends of the Earth International. Time Magazine Hero of the Environment 2009. Nigeria
• Natasha Shokri (Iran)
“In the world we are suffering from various threats such as poverty, global warming, pandemic, water shortage; there is no need for anymore threats! Instead of taking more lives we need collaboration to fix existing threats!”
Natasha Shokri, UNESCO Youth Peace Ambassador.
• Andreas Nidecker (Switzerland)
Nuclear Weapons pose the biggest threat to the survival of mankind: since their existence some 20 “near miss” events are known. Financing production and maintenance demands obscene finances. A small nuclear war would lead to widespread famine. Nuclear Deterrence is an outmoded concept in a world, when diplomacy must seek alliances and cooperation
Prof (em) Andreas Nidecker MD. Board Member IPPNW , President Basel Peace Office
• Rep Jasmine Krotkov (USA)
“Although national security is widely perceived to depend on military strength, more weapons do not provide more security. Peace within and among nations depends in part on replacing ignorance and unjustified fears with mutual understanding and trust.”
Representative Jasmine Krotkov. Member of the Montana State Legislature. USA
• Senator Sehar Kamran (Pakistan)
“Double standards and exceptionalism are undermining the credibility of the non-proliferation regime. The goal of a nuclear weapons free world can only be achieved through the conclusion of a universal, verifiable and non-discriminatory, comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons.”
Senator Sehar Kamran, Patron-in-Chief, Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies.
• Olivia Caeymaex (Belgium)
“Quaker Council for European Affairs fully endorses this appeal and calls on Europe’s responsibility to work towards a nuclear-weapon-free world.”
Olivia Caeymaex, Peace Programme Director, Quaker Council for European Affairs. Belgium
Dr. Vladimir Kozin (Russia)
• “It is rational to reach the total elimination of all nuclear weapons globally by 2045.”
Dr. Vladimir Kozin. Leading Expert, Russian Academy of Military Sciences and Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Russia.
• General (ret) Francis Lenne (France)
“This Appeal is to be constantly renewed until the 14 States with nuclear weapons on their territory initiate this transition towards the complete and final elimination of nuclear weapons: France, Great Britain, USA, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea and NATO countries Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Turkey.”
• Jasminka Bajlo (Croatia)
“We should all do our utmost in abolishing nuclear weapons as citizens of the world and leave a brighter future for the coming generations.”
Jasminka Bajlo, City representative of Mayors for Peace
• Anselmo Lee (South Korea)
“I fully support the moratorium on nuclear weapons budgets, the end of investments in the nuclear weapons industry, and redirection of these investments and budgets to support the response and recovery from the COVID-19, drastic reductions in carbon emissions and financing for the SDGs.”
Anselmo Lee. Co-Representative, Pax Christi, Korea
Click here to see more quotes from endorsers.