United Nations(UN)’s Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is annually observed across the globe on November 30th as a tribute to the victims who lost their lives or suffered due to chemical warfare.
The day also reaffirms the commitment of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to eliminate the threat of chemical weapons and promote peace, security, and multilateralism.
- To assess the progress made towards preventing the use of Chemical weapons.
- To renew the commitment to achieve a world free of chemical weapons.
i.The Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention at its 10th session (2005) proclaimed the 29th April of every year as the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare.
- Following the suggestion of Rogelio Pfirter, Director-General of OPCW, the day was officially recognised by the UN and observed since 2005.
ii.29th April marks the date on which the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997.
iii.The 20th Session of the Conference of the States Parties held in December 2015, decided that the ‘Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare’ will be held on 30th November each year or, when appropriate, on the first day of the regular session of the Conference.
iv.It also decided to proclaim the 29th April as International Day for the Foundation of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (“OPCW Day”).
- The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare has been observed on 30th November since 2016.
Efforts to eliminate Chemical Weapons:
i.The Chemical Weapons Convention which was adopted in 1993, came into force on 29th April 1997.
ii.The States Parties to this Convention established the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to achieve the object and purpose of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
An Agenda for Disarmament:
i.United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres launched Securing our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament in 2018.
ii.This outlines the vision of disarmament actions which could help to set the world on a path towards sustainable peace and security for all.
i.At present, the OPCW Member States represent around 98% of the global population and landmass, as well as 98% of the worldwide chemical industry.
ii.OPCW won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.
About Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons(OPCW):
Chairperson– Abdelouahab Bellouki(Morocco)
Members of Executive Council– 41 Member States (includes India)
Headquarters– The Hague, The Netherlands