Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), said the world is facing a "nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War
"We're just one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation," he warned. Gutteres added that people had been extraordinarily lucky so far, "but luck is not a strategy. Nor is it a shield from geopolitical tensions boiling over into nuclear conflict."
Guterres was addressing world leaders belonging to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at a conference when he called on nations to "put humanity on a new path toward a world free of nuclear weapons."
He also outlined five areas for action, beginning with reinforcing and reaffirming the norm against the use of nuclear weapons
, which requires commitment from all parties to the treaty.
"We need to strengthen all avenues of dialogue and transparency. Peace cannot take hold in an absence of trust and mutual respect," Guterres said.
The meeting, which was held at the UN's headquarters in New York, has been postponed several times since 2020 due to the pandemic. It has since resumed and will run until August 26.
Guterres said the conference was a chance to strengthen the treaty and "make it fit for the worrying world around us," citing the Russia-Ukraine war
as well as the tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in the Middle East.
He also said eliminating nuclear weapons is the only guarantee that they will never be used, adding that he would visit Hiroshima for the anniversary of its August 6, 1945 bombing by the United States. (Related: A primer on the different types of nuclear weapons and how they affect humans and the environment
Threat of nuclear proliferation growing
Currently, almost 13,000 nuclear weapons are being held in arsenals around the world at a time when the risks of proliferation are growing and guardrails to prevent escalation are weakening.
The United States, China, Russia, Britain and France, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, pledged in January that they will prevent further dissemination of nuclear weapons.
However, during the last review conference in 2015, the parties were unable to reach an agreement on substantive issues.
And the threat of nuclear proliferation is only growing. Iran has already reported having enough uranium to build one, if not two bombs, as ex-U.S. diplomat and nuclear weapons expert Robert Joseph warned.
The U.S. and its nuclear allies also rebuked Russia for its "irresponsible and dangerous talk about the possibility of deploying nuclear weapons" as a review of the keystone nuclear treaty opened.
"Following Russia's unprovoked and unlawful war of aggression against Ukraine, we call on Russia to cease its irresponsible and dangerous nuclear rhetoric and behavior, to uphold its international commitments," the U.S., France and Britain said in a statement
"Nuclear weapons, for as long as they exist, should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression and prevent war. We condemn those who would use or threaten to use nuclear weapons for military coercion, intimidation and blackmail."
This call was issued as there had been concerns about the spread of nuclear technology, especially in Iran and North Korea, and China's rapid expansion of its nuclear arsenal.
While five leading nuclear powers are among the 191 states that are included in the pact, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea are not, which is why the NPT stated that further reduction of the risk of nuclear war must be a priority for them. (Related: North Korea vows to test more nuclear weapons, aims threats at US
NPT said Iran must never develop a nuclear weapon. It also called on North Korea to stop its nuclear-related tests and launches
. In a separate statement, U.S. President Joe Biden called on Russia and China to demonstrate their own commitment to limiting nuclear arms.
Watch the video below for more information about the possibility of nations using nuclear weapons.
This video is from the Chinese taking down EVIL CCP channel on Brighteon.com.
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