A high-level plenary meeting was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on September 26, 2023 coinciding with the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. I.M.A.M.’s U.N. representative emphasized the urgent, crucial need for collective action to halt the production of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

Quoting from verse 2:205 of the Holy Quran, namely, “…condemning those who commit evil in the land, destroying farms and people…,” I.M.A.M.’s representative highlighted that nuclear weapons epitomize this destructive force and should have no place in any country’s defense doctrine. 

He went on to remark that the Quran teaches us the value of security and in fact, Prophet Ibrahim (p) prayed for security and sustenance while building the house of God with his son Ismail, saying: “Lord, make this a city of peace and provide its people with fruits.” [2:126] This prayer emphasizes both personal security and food security, and it is also mentioned in verse 14:35. The Quran also mentions a good (Tayyiba) life and a peaceful, secure land as in verse 34:15.

The representative noted that a secure life and land while living under the shadow of the fear of the intentional or wrongful use of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction is unattainable. These weapons pose an immediate and grave threat to humanity and all life on Earth. Therefore, immediate and decisive measures are required to address this risk. 

As detailed by the United Nations publication, in 1945, two atomic bombs devastated the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, resulting in an immediate estimated death toll of 213,000 people. 

Attaining global nuclear disarmament stands as the United Nations’ top priority. This mission traces back to the General Assembly’s inaugural resolution in 1946, which established the Atomic Energy Commission (dissolved in 1952) with a mandate to propose measures for nuclear energy control and the elimination of atomic weapons, along with other weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations has since spearheaded numerous diplomatic initiatives to advance nuclear disarmament.

The International Day for the “Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons” was declared by the General Assembly in December 2013 through resolution 68/32, following a high-level meeting held on September 26, 2013, in New York.

Despite global efforts, approximately 12,512 nuclear weapons persist today, with countries possessing such arms pursuing extensive modernization plans. Over half of the world’s population resides in nations with nuclear weapons or is part of nuclear alliances.

To fulfill the U.N.’s goal of eliminating such weapons, education and public awareness play a paramount role. NGOs and religious institutions can actively contribute to this effort, taking on leadership and creative roles.



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