INTERNATIONAL DAY OF NEUTRALITY
Every year on December 12th, the International Day of Neutrality promotes the importance of peaceful, friendly, and mutually beneficial relations between countries.
When a country is neutral, it means they are not taking a side in times of war or conflict. One of the best-known examples of neutrality is the country of Switzerland. During both World Wars, Switzerland remained neutral. Their neutrality goes back as far as 1815. As a result of their permanent neutral status, Switzerland has become a safe haven for thousands of refugees over the years.
Other countries that have remained neutral during times of armed conflict include:
- Costa Rica
Even though these countries do not get involved in a conflict, some of them still have large armies and a military presence.
Preventative diplomacy, early warnings of conflict, mediation, and fact-finding missions all help these countries maintain their neutrality. Some neutral countries might also utilize special envoys, informal consultations, and negotiations. Maintaining neutrality is not an easy feat. This is especially true in a world that is never void of conflict. In fact, dozens of new conflicts occur each year.
Some of the most recent conflicts involve the countries of Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Venezuela. There have also been tensions between the United States and China, as well as between the U.S. Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Many people around the world live in fear each day that there will someday be a World War III.
With the increasing numbers of conflicts and rumors of war, neutrality is more important than ever.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalDayOfNeutrality
Member states, organizations, educators, and concerned individuals hold events throughout the country to promote neutrality among countries. To participate:
- Discuss with others the importance of peacekeeping, preventative diplomacy, and mediation when it comes to remaining neutral.
- Think about what it would be like to live in a country that practiced neutrality in times of conflict. How would this change your view of the world?
- Learn about the peacemaking missions the United Nations has been involved with since its formation in 1945.
Spread awareness for this day on social media by using #InternationalDayOfNeutrality
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF NEUTRALITY HISTORY
On February 2, 2017, the UN General Assembly Declared December 12th as the International Day of Neutrality. The resolution was introduced by the country of Turkmenistan. This country had been recognized as a permanently neutral state since December 12th, 1995.