United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has warned that a misunderstanding could lead to nuclear destruction. Meanwhile, the United States, Britain, and France are urging Russia to stop “its dangerous nuclear rhetoric and conduct.” That writes The Guardian.
Opening a major conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty in New York, Guterres warned that the world faces “a nuclear threat not seen since the height of the Cold War.”
Referring to Russia’s war with Ukraine and tensions in the Korean peninsula and the Middle East, Guterres feared crises “with nuclear undertones” could escalate.
“Today, humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear destruction,” Guterres said at the Tenth Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which came into effect in 1970 to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
“We have been fortunate so far. But happiness is not a strategy. Nor is it a shield against geopolitical tensions culminating in a nuclear conflict,” he added. He called on the nations to “set humanity on a new path to a world without nuclear weapons.”
The meeting, which will be held at the UN headquarters in New York, has been postponed several times since 2020 due to the corona pandemic. Guterres said the conference was “an opportunity to strengthen the treaty” and “make it fit for the worrisome world around us.”
“The banning of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee that they will never be used,” the secretary-general said.
On Monday, the US, Britain, and France confirmed in a joint statement their commitment that a “nuclear war cannot be won and should never be fought.”
The three also took a stand against Russia – which announced shortly after its invasion of Ukraine on February 24 that it was stepping up its nuclear weapons arsenal – and urged Moscow to honor its international obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Following Russia’s unprovoked and illegitimate war of aggression against Ukraine, we call on Russia to cease its irresponsible and dangerous nuclear rhetoric and conduct.