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The UN Secretary-General warned that humanity is not this close to nuclear annihilation since the Cold War.

The UN Secretary-General warned that humanity is not this close to nuclear annihilation since the Cold War.

Humanity is “one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation,” the UN Secretary-General warned on Monday, estimating that this risk “had not been seen since the height of the Cold War.”

“We have been extraordinarily lucky so far. But luck is not a strategy or a shield to prevent geopolitical tensions from degenerating into nuclear conflict”, said António Guterres at the opening of the conference of the 191 signatory countries of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement (NPT).

“Today, humanity is one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation,” he warned, urging the world “to get rid of its nuclear weapons.”

After being postponed several times since 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, the 10th review conference of the NPT, an international treaty that entered into force in 1970 to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, is being held until August 26 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

This meeting is an “opportunity to strengthen this treaty and adapt it to today’s world,” said Guterres, who hopes that it will reiterate that the use of nuclear weapons is not resorted to but also adopt “new commitments” to reduce the arsenal.

“Eliminating nuclear weapons is the only guarantee that they will never be used,” he recalled, before specifying that in a few days he will visit Hiroshima on the occasion of the anniversary of the nuclear bombing.

“Nearly 13,000 nuclear weapons are stored in arsenals around the world. At a time when the risks of proliferation are increasing and the safeguards to prevent this escalation are weakening”, he recalled before evoking the “crises” in the Middle East, on the Korean peninsula and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The renowned Stockholm International Institute for Peace Studies estimates that there are 12,705 nuclear weapons in the world, in nine countries with this type of arsenal, led by Russia (5,977) and the United States (5,428).

In January, the five members of the Security Council – the United States, China, Russia, France and Great Britain, which are also nuclear powers – pledged to “prevent the achievement of nuclear dissemination”, before a new report from the conference under review.

During the last review conference in 2015, the parties failed to agree on substantive issues.

The NPT came into force in 1970, at the height of the Cold War, and prohibits the possession of nuclear weapons by any country that is not part of the group of powers formed by the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France and Russia (then the Soviet Union). .

None of the nuclear powers have signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force in 2021.

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José Martí
José Martí
Nacionalista cubano, poeta, filósofo, ensayista, periodista, traductor, profesor y editor.

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