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Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation observed for victims of World War II



Time of remembrance and reconciliation was observed globally on 8-9 May 2017 to pay tribute to all the victims of the Second World War. The day was designated by the UN General Assembly by resolution 59/26 of 22 November 2004.
The assembly invited all its Member States, even though they may have individual days of victory, liberation and commemoration, along with all the UN organizations, non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the day annually either one or both of these days in an appropriate manner to pay tribute to all the World War II victims.
On the occasion, the UN also called upon its Member States to unite their efforts in dealing with new challenges and threats and to make every effort to settle all disputes by peaceful means, in such a manner that international peace and security are not endangered.

Significance
It was WWII that established the conditions for the creation of the United Nations, a body designed to promote international co-operation and to create and maintain international order.
It was established on 24 October 1945 as a replacement for the ineffective League of Nations that was disbanded in 1946 after WWII following its failure in preventing the conflict.
Background
• On 2 March 2010, by resolution 64/257, the UN General Assembly invited all its organizations, Member States, NGOs and individuals to observe 8-9 May in an appropriate manner to pay tribute to all victims of the Second World War.
• The assembly also held a special solemn meeting in the memory of the victims in the second week of May 2010, marking the 65th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
• During the meeting, the then UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon called the Second World War as one of the most epic struggles for freedom and liberation in history and added that its cost was beyond calculation, beyond comprehension with the death of almost 40 million civilians, 20 million soldiers and nearly half of those in the Soviet Union.
• A similar special commemorative meeting was held again on the war’s 70th anniversary on 5 May 2015.
About World War II
• It is said to have begun on 1 September 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, which was followed by declaration of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
• It was mainly fought between two opposing military alliances, the Allied powers (Great Britain, France, Soviet Union and the United States) and the Axis powers (Germany, Italy and Japan).
• It was the most widespread war in history, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries.
• The war witnessed three of the most devastating incidents including the Holocaust, the attack on Pearl Harbour and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.
• It ended with Japan’s surrender on 15 August 1945, after US dropped two atomic bombs on two of it cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively.
• The war marked mass deaths of civilians with over 90 million fatalities.

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