world on the brink of nuclear annihilation
New York – The world is facing “a nuclear danger not seen since the height of the cold war,” said António Guterres, The United Nations’ secretary general, at the opening of a key Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) conference in New York.
“Today, humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation,” Guterres said at the 10th Review Conference of the NPT, an international treaty that came into force in 1970 to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. He recalled the war between Russia and Ukraine and the tensions on the Korean Peninsula and the Middle East. He fears crises “with nuclear undertones”.
The meeting, which took place at the UN Headquarters in New York, has been postponed several times since 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Guterres thinks the conference is a good chance to solidify the treaty and make it viable. He also noted that before that we were all very lucky, but luck cannot be a strategy – “We have been extraordinarily lucky so far. But luck is not a strategy. Nor is it a shield from geopolitical tensions boiling over into a nuclear conflict,” he said.
Guterres decided to visit Hiroshima on the anniversary of the atomic bombing of the Japanese city of the United States on August 6, 1945. He also added that the elimination of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee that they will never be used.
In January, the permanent members of the UN Security Council — the United States, China, Russia, Britain, and France — pledged to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons.
And on Monday, the US, UK, and France reaffirmed their commitments by adding that “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
“Almost 13,000 nuclear weapons are now being held in arsenals around the world.” Guterres recalled, “All this at a time when the risks of proliferation are growing and guardrails to prevent escalation are weakening.”