The annual observance of Disarmament Week, which begins on the anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, was called for in the Final Document of the General Assembly 1978 special session on disarmament (resolution S-10/2). States were invited to highlight the danger of the arms race, propagate the need for its cessation and increase public understanding of the urgent tasks of disarmament.
In 1995, the General Assembly invited governments, as well as non-governmental organizations, to continue taking an active part in Disarmament Week (resolution 50/72 B, 12 December 1995). It invited the Secretary-General to continue using United Nations information entities as widely as possible, to promote a better understanding among the public of disarmament problems, and the aims of the Week.
“It is of particular significance that the largest arms-exporting country in the world, the United States, is now also among those countries who have committed themselves to a global regulation of the arms trade,” a spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in response to US Secretary of State John Kerry signing the treaty.