International Day of Neutrality 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

International Day of Neutrality is annually celebrated on December 12th, this day recognizes the importance of being neutral to avoid conflicts

International Day of Neutrality is annually celebrated on 12th December. The observance of this day was initiated by the United Nations and focuses on advocating and campaigning for mutually beneficial- and friendly relations between countries. 

It also believes that sometimes neutrality is very important in preventing world from a major conflict. For example take Switzerland it decided to remain neutral during both world wars and during cold war and avoided any conflict happening on its territory. 

So this day advocates for more neutaralism for world peace. However, we must keep things in our mind and it is not confirm that neutrality works everytime but it is better to be neutral to avoid situations from being escalated.  

Event International Day of Neutrality
Date December 12, 2022
Day Monday
Significance The day is dedicated to advocating for mutually beneficial and friendly relations between countries
Observed by World wide

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International Day of Neutrality History: 

Neutralism, also called Nonalignment, in international relations, the peacetime policy of avoiding political or ideological affiliations with major power blocs. The policy was pursued by such countries as India, Yugoslavia, and many of the new states of Asia and Africa during the period of the Cold War (1945–90). These countries refused, for the most part, to align themselves with either the communist bloc, led by the Soviet Union, or the Western bloc, led by the United States. Though neutralist in this sense, they were not neutral or isolationist, for they participated actively in international affairs and took positions on international issues.

The duties and rights of a neutral country are set in the Hague Convention of 1907. In international law, a sovereign state that refrains from any participation in a war with or between other countries and maintains an attitude of indifference towards belligerents is defined as a neutral country. In return, belligerents should respect this impartiality. A country in a permanent state of neutrality will remain as such in all future wars. In 1815, the first country to declare its permanent status of neutrality was Switzerland and, as a result of this, thousands of refugees have found a safe haven in this country over the years. But Turkmenistan is the only state that is recognized as neutral by the United Nations.

The widespread espousal of neutralism as a distinct policy was a post-World War II phenomenon. In the second half of the 20th century, many nations took up the position of neutralism. With the meeting at the Bandung Conference (1955) of 29 countries for the purpose of, among other issues, establishing their neutralism, the Nonaligned Movement was conceived. The movement experienced considerable difficulty in establishing a unified policy on many issues in international affairs. Many of the member nations were enemies (such as Iran and Iraq), and true nonalignment proved an elusive goal. With the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union (1991), neutralism lost much of its usefulness as a guiding principle in many nations foreign relations.

On 2 February 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 12 December 1995 — which noted the link between the preservation of peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and declared 12 December as the International Day of Neutrality. The aforementioned GA resolution also proposes that UN Secretary-General continue to cooperate closely with the neutral states, with a view to implementing the principles of preventive diplomacy and utilizing them in the mediation activities.


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International Day of Neutrality Significance: 

Neutrality is 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 in order to operate independently and effectively, especially in situations that are politically charged. As Article 2 of 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 hence neutrality becomes even more important for UN.   

In the face of political tension and escalating crises, it is of great importance to uphold the principles of sovereignty and the sovereign equality of States, territorial integrity, self-determination and non-intervention in the internal affairs of any State, and to defend, promote and encourage the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security are not endangered. Therefore, the policy of neutrality contributes to the strengthening of peace and security in relevant regions and at the global level and plays an important role in developing peaceful, friendly and mutually beneficial relations between the countries of the world.

Neutrality has been recognised in different ways, and sometimes involves a formal guarantor. For example, Austria has its neutrality guaranteed by its four former occupying powers, Switzerland by the signatories of the Congress of Vienna and Finland by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The form of recognition varies, often by bilateral treaty (Finland), multilateral treaty (Austria) or a UN declaration (Turkmenistan). These treaties can in some ways be forced on a country (Austria's neutrality was insisted upon by the Soviet Union) but in other cases it is an active policy of the country concerned to respond to a geopolitical situation (Ireland in the Second World War). 

The concept of a utopian world where there are no conflicts is explored and discussed on forums and events on International Day of Neutrality. Such dialogues are important more than ever in present times looking at the current scenarios unfolding in our world which is dividing it even further. Neutrality not only serves the country that is implementing it but, during times of armed conflict and war, it is also essential for NGOs and other humanitarian agencies in being able to take proper care of casualties. As many times country based on their interests refuses to help countries and its citizen on helping and puts sanctions on them. 


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International Day of Neutrality Celebrations: 

Member states, organizations, educators, and concerned individuals hold events throughout the country to promote neutrality among countries on this occasion. This is done in order to create awareness about the importance of neutrality in international politics to the general public. Hence it is also done to raise people's interest towards geopolitics as well as mostly people only talks about domestic politics. 

You can also use this opportunity to discuss with others the importance of peacekeeping, preventative diplomacy, and mediation when it comes to remaining neutral. Sometimes we can actually solve many issues if we just try to think something from a different perspective as well rather than pur own by understanding the points of view of others as well. So discuss it online on forums or debate this concept with your peers. 

History serves to prevent us from repeating mistakes. Hence this is an exciting opportunity for you to learn about the United Nations' peacemaking missions since its formation in 1945. Research that what role your country have played in peacekeeping missions around the world and irrespective of that you will find many amazing stories relating to peacekeeping soldiers who sacrifices themselves to maintain peace in our world. 

Most Searched FAQs on International Day of Neutrality: 

1. When is International Day of Neutrality celebrated? 

International Day of Neutrality is annually celebrated on 12th December. 

2. What is the policy of international neutrality? 

Neutrality is defined as the particular status of a country in which it declares itself as a non-participant in war or conflict between belligerent states. 

3. What country is known for neutrality? 

For centuries, the tiny Alpine nation of Switzerland has adhered to a policy of armed neutrality in global affairs. Switzerland isn't the world's only neutral country—the likes of Ireland, Austria and Costa Rica all take similar non-interventionist stances—yet it remains the oldest and most respected. 

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