DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR ALL VICTIMS OF CHEMICAL WARFARE: Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is commemorated on November 30. This internationally marked day was adopted by the United Nations to remember the victims of chemical warfare. The day aims to encourage efforts for eliminating the use of chemical weapons and remember those who have suffered because of such warfare.
Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare: History
The first international agreement limiting the use of chemical weapons can be traced back to 1675. France and Germany had come to an agreement to prohibit the use of poison bullets. This agreement was signed in Strasbourg.
In 1874, the Brussels Convention on the Law and Customs of War was signed. It prohibited the employment of poison or poisoned weapons. However, the use of arms, projectiles or material to cause unnecessary suffering, though agreed upon, did not come into force.
The Hague Convention declared to ‘abstain from the use of projectiles, the sole object of which is the diffusion of asphyxiating or deleterious gasses’ in 1899. A second Hague Convention was agreed upon in 1907. It was to reiterate the earlier bans on employing poison or poisoned weapons.
According to the United Nations’ official website, chemical weapons were used as a weapon of mass destruction during World War I. As a result, there were more than 100 thousand fatalities and a million casualties.
While chemical weapons were not used during World War II, it was only after the war that several countries gradually came to the realization that having chemical weapons in their arsenals did not have much value compared to the threat they posed. This led the countries to look forward to a comprehensive ban.
The Chemical Weapons Convention was adopted in 1993. It came into force on April 29, 1997.
In 2005, the United Nations proclaimed November 30 as the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare.
Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare: Significance
Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare memorializes those who have lost their lives to chemical warfare. It is a day to mourn and honour the lost lives, whether they of soldiers or civilians. It is also a reminder of the cruelty of wars and how far we have come to safeguard the lives of future generations. But it is also a reminder of how much is still left to be done. The day is also commemorated to raise awareness about chemical weapons and the international laws against them. Public awareness is raised about the dangers of these weapons of mass destruction and what can be done to establish peace.
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