On de UN calendar is filled with a variety if special days on which an international relevant topic is remembered or celebrated. Some of these have been around for a long time, like the Human Rights Day, be some days have been put on the calendar more recently and are maybe less well-known.

One of these recent and possibly less known days is the International Day of Neutrality, which was commemorated yesterday, 12 December. The International Day of Neutrality was recognized by the General Assembly on 2 February 2017 with Resolution 71/275. The resolution was introduced by Turkmenistan to promote neutrality.

Turkmenistan is the only state in the world that has been given the status of a permanent neutral state bij the United Nations. This status was granted on 12 December 1995 by the unanimous adoption of General Assembly resolution Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan and thus the United Nations have become the guarantor of its neutrality.

Neutrality is by definition of the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law “the particular status, defined by international law, of a State not party to an armed conflict. This status entails specific rights and duties in the relationship between the neutral and the belligerent States . On one hand, there is the right of the neutral State to remain apart from, and not to be adversely affected by, the conflict. On the other hand, there is the duty of non-participation and impartiality.”

The UN promotes the neutrality of states as a means to 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. As such, neutrality functions as a for of preventive diplomacy, such as early warning and prevention of conflict, mediation, good offices, fact-finding missions, negotiation, the use of special envoys, informal consultations, peacebuilding and targeted development activities.

As formulated in the UN Charter, preventive diplomacy is a core function of the United Nations and is central to the role of the United Nations Secretary-General, including the special political missions of the United Nations and the good offices of the Secretary-General in peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

Find more about neutrality in our catalogue.

Systematic classification → War, Armed Conflict and Neutrality

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