Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is a UN event which is annually observed on 30th November. This day is being organized as a tribute to victims of the chemical warfare. 

It is held to remember the victims of chemical warfare and to affirm the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons commitment to the cause. This day aims to eliminate chemical weapons from our world. 

This day aims to educate the general public about the devastating effects of chemical weapons so that awareness regarding it can be raised throughout the world so that people can be more careful towards chemicals. 

Event Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare
Date November 30, 2022
Day Wednesday
Significance This day is being organized as a tribute to victims of the chemical warfare.
Observed by World wide

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Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare History: 

Chemical weapons were first invented in 1918 by a German chemist named Fritz Haber. He is best known for inventing the Haber-Bosch process that synthesizes ammonia from nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas, which aids in synthesizing fertilizers. This invention is used in global food production and supports nearly half of the world’s population. However, this isn’t  Haber’s only life-changing invention. During World War I, Haber signed the Manifesto of the Ninety-Three, in which he and other German scientists and scholars declared their support of the German military. Haber developed and weaponized poisonous gasses to be used in trench warfare, as well as gas masks and filters to protect against them. 

The Germans first used their chemical weapons in Belgium in 1915 at the Second Battle of Ypres, releasing 168 tons of chlorine gas. From then on, Haber and his team continued to experiment and further developed their chemicals to make them more effective. These efforts were later continued in America where they developed a gas that released irritants, making soldiers take off their masks and be exposed to the gas. And ever since then these weapons have caused massive destruction all across the world and it is speculated that many countries still possess them. 

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The history of the serious efforts to achieve chemical disarmament that culminated in the conclusion of the Chemical Weapons Convention began more than a century ago. Chemical weapons were used on a massive scale during World War I, resulting in more than 100,000 fatalities and a million casualties. However, chemical weapons were not used on the battleground in Europe in World War II. Following World War II, and with the advent of the nuclear debate, several countries gradually came to the realisation that the marginal value of having chemical weapons in their arsenals was limited, while the threat posed by the availability and proliferation of such weapons made a comprehensive ban desirable.  

Adopted in 1993, the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force on 29 April 1997. It determined, “for the sake of all mankind, to exclude completely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons.” (Preamble) The States Parties to this Convention established the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons “to achieve the object and purpose of this Convention, to ensure the implementation of its provisions, including those for international verification of compliance with it, and to provide a forum for consultation and cooperation among States Parties.” (Article VIII). 

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Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare Significance: 

Chemical warfare is different from the use of conventional weapons or nuclear weapons because the destructive effects of chemical weapons are not primarily due to any explosive force. The offensive use of living organisms (such as anthrax) is considered biological warfare rather than chemical warfare; however, the use of nonliving toxic products produced by living organisms (e.g. toxins such as botulinum toxin, ricin, and saxitoxin) is considered chemical warfare under the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). 

About 70 different chemicals have been used or stockpiled as chemical warfare agents during the 20th century. The entire class known as Lethal Unitary Chemical Agents and Munitions have been scheduled for elimination by the CWC. Under the convention, chemicals that are toxic enough to be used as chemical weapons, or that may be used to manufacture such chemicals usage and deployment is prohibited as they posses threat to the humanity and either they must be eliminated or their usage should be only limited under supervision. 

This day allows those who have lost people to chemical warfare to mourn and honor their lives, whether soldiers or citizens. It serves as a reminder of how cruel war can be. As it is speculated that chemical warfare or chemical weapons have been used extensively in the 20th century starting from the World War I. Even many recent conflicts and wars have been reported to have chemical weapons used in them. In most recently major conflict we can think of the Iran-Iraq War during which chemical weapons were extensively used which caused suffering to millions of people. 

It is important to remember that chemical weapons are against international law and are inhumane. Spreading this message only is the prime motive of this day. This is one step taken to establish peace, and the U.N. is continuing to make similar efforts to protect people. So this day urges all the UN members means the governments around the world to eliminate all of their chemical weapons and outlaw it completely. Most of the world has already signed treaty on elimination and no usage of chemical weapons but still there are some countries who refuse to eliminate their chemical weapons. 

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Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare Celebrations:

The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare gives people the chance to pay tribute to the victims of chemical warfare. It also allows governments and organizations to commit or reaffirm their commitment to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an organization that aims to end the threat of chemical weapons and promote the peace and security worldwide.

Take the day to grieve and pay tribute to victims of chemical warfare. Keep their memory alive by continuing to talk about them and share their stories. As there are many stories which have been recorded because of chemical warfare survivors however most didn’t make it so it is important to know some stories regarding this subject to understand the magnitude of the situation.  

There are still many people in our world who are suffering from the effects of chemical weapons. So use this opportunity to donate to savethechildren.org to help victims suffering from it like the ones in Syria against chemical attacks. You can also donate to icanw.org/donate to aid in passing a treaty to stop nuclear weapons. 

Most Searched FAQs on Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare: 

1. When is Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare observed? 

Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare is annually observed on 30th November. 

2. What is an example of chemical warfare? 

The most commonly used chemical weapons are chlorine gas, nerve agents, ricin, lewisite, and mustard gas. 

3. What does chemical weapon do to the body? 

They paralyze the respiratory muscles and inhibit the respiratory system, often killing the victim. Some may cause an increased risk of developing cancer.

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