The Office for Disarmament Affairs supports multilateral efforts aimed at achieving the ultimate goal of general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control. The Office also works to address the humanitarian impact of major conventional weapons and emerging weapon technologies, such as autonomous weapons, as these issues have received increased attention from the international community.
The UN and the nuclear age were born almost simultaneously. The horror of the Second World War, culminating in the nuclear blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, brought home the need to address the nuclear issue. By its first resolution, the General Assembly established the UN Atomic Energy Commission to deal with the problems raised by the discovery of atomic energy. And a landmark address by United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, “Atoms for Peace”, led to the establishment in 1957 of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.
Disarmament must be brought back to the centre of our common efforts for peace and security.