December 12- International Day of Neutrality

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Neutrality — defined as the legal status arising from the abstention of a state from all participation in a war between other states, the maintenance of an attitude of impartiality toward the belligerents, and the recognition by the belligerents of this abstention and impartiality — is critically important for the United Nations to gain and maintain the confidence and cooperation of all to operate independently and effectively, especially in situations that are politically charged.

As Article 2 of the UN Charter obligates member states to settle their international disputes by peaceful means and to refrain from the threat or the use of force in their relations, the General Assembly reaffirmed those obligations in its resolution 71/275.

The resolution also underlined that some states’ national policies of neutrality could contribute to the strengthening of international peace and security and play an essential role in developing mutually beneficial relations among countries of the world.

On February 2, 2017, the UN General Assembly adopted without a vote resolution 71/275 — introduced by Turkmenistan, recognized by the UN as a permanently neutral state since December 12, 1995 — which noted the link between the preservation of peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and declared December 12 as the International Day of Neutrality. The aforementioned GA resolution also proposes that the UN Secretary-General continue to cooperate closely with the neutral states, intending to implement the principles of preventive diplomacy and utilize them in the mediation activities. Preventive diplomacy through the recognition given to this day is an important way of taking us forward in our Sustainable Development Goals. 


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Shristi Banerjee

Lawyer, Jharkhand High Court (India)

Global Representative (India), Roya Institute of Global Justice