ugc_banner

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warns of 'nuclear annihilation'

New YorkEdited By: Manas JoshiUpdated: Aug 02, 2022, 12:43 AM IST
main img
UN Secretary-General António Guterres speaks during the 2022 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations in New York City on August 1, 2022. Photograph:(AFP)

Story highlights

He mentioned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, tensions on the Korean peninsula and in West Asia and said that crises "with nuclear undertones" could escalate

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday (August 1) said that a small misunderstanding can cause nuclear annihilation of humanity. His words came as the US, Britain and France urged Russia to stop "its dangerous nuclear rhetoric and behaviour." Guterres was talking at the time of opening of a key Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty conference in New York. UN secretary general warned that world faced  "a nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War."

He mentioned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, tensions on the Korean peninsula and in West Asia and said that crises "with nuclear undertones" could escalate.

"Today, humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation," Guterres told the 10th review conference of the NPT, an international treaty that came into force in 1970 to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

"We have been extraordinarily lucky so far. But luck is not a strategy. Nor is it a shield from geopolitical tensions boiling over into nuclear conflict," he added, calling on nations to "put humanity on a new path towards a world free of nuclear weapons."

The meeting is being held at UN headquarters in New York it will run till August 26. The meeting was postponed several times since 2020 due to Covid pandemic. Guterres said that the conference was "a chance to strengthen" the treaty and "make it fit for the worrying world around us."

"Eliminating nuclear weapons is the only guarantee they will never be used," the secretary-general implored, adding that he would visit Hiroshima for the anniversary of the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of the Japanese city by the United States.

"Almost 13,000 nuclear weapons are now being held in arsenals around the world. All this at a time when the risks of proliferation are growing and guardrails to prevent escalation are weakening," Guterres added.

(With inputs from agencies)

You can now write for wionews.com and be a part of the community. Share your stories and opinions with us here.

WATCH WION LIVE HERE