Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare 2021: Here's All You Need to Know

World 09:42 AM - 2021-11-30

In the picture dated 20 March 1988, Omar Khawar, a Kurdish father, holds his baby in his arms in Halabja, Kurdistan Region. Both were killed in an Iraqi chemical attack on the city.

Chemical weapons were produced and used on a large scale during World Wars. Several people became victims due to the usage of these weapons leading to the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to eliminate the threat of chemical weapons and promote peace, security, and multilateralism in the world. Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is an annual event held on November 30, every year since 2005.

Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare: History

During the last day of the United Nations’ Tenth Session of the Conference of the State Party, the members recognized the Day of Remembrance as a “tribute to the Victims of Chemical Warfare."

The suggestion to make the day memorable was done by the Director-General of the Secretariat, Rogelio Pfirter. In 1997, the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force on April 29 and was supposed to be chosen as the date for the event’s celebration. Today, April 29 is known as the International Day for the Foundation of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The Chemical Weapons Convention also known as the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction is said to be an arms control treaty, looked upon by an intergovernmental organization from the Hague called Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

According to a 2013 report by United Nations, several countries in the world have given up or destroyed their stockpiles of Nuclear Weapons but several are yet to do so.

Day of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare: Agenda

Towards the end of the Second World War, two atomic bombs devastated the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, resulting in 300,000 deaths. Around 9 countries are known to have nuclear weapons, which can be launched within minutes. There are several reasons why the UN sought the disarmament of these weapons, but one of the main reasons remain “To Save Succeeding Generations from the Scourge of War".

Kurds and Chemical Weapons

During the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988), chemical weapons were used by then Iraq's Baath regime against Iran, as well as Iraq to annihilate the Kurdish people. The process began from April 15, 1987, to August 29, 1988. The regime used chemical weapons to destroy over 400 villages and towns of the Kurdistan Region.

The biggest one was the one used against Halabja city where over 5000 innocent people from women, children of all ages, and the elderly were martyred as a result of this crime and more than 10,000 were injured. The injured are still suffering from their wounds to this day.


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