The head of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has warned of the growing risk of nuclear destruction due to the numerous crises and conflicts worldwide. The world is in a “period of nuclear danger unprecedented since the height of the Cold War,” Guterres said in New York. At the start of the latest evaluation round, he spoke about an international treaty to prevent further proliferation of nuclear weapons.

“Humanity is in danger of forgetting the lessons that were forged in the terrible fires of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” the UN Secretary-General said. According to him, the world is only one misunderstanding or miscalculation away from nuclear destruction.

Further disarmament seemed impossible even before Russia began its attack on Ukraine. Now the reduction of the nearly 13,000 nuclear weapons worldwide is becoming even more difficult, observers said.

The more than fifty-year-old Treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT), to which 191 countries have joined, forms the basis for nuclear disarmament worldwide. The NPT states that only the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom may possess nuclear weapons. The four other suspected nuclear powers India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea have not joined or have withdrawn from the treaty.

The purpose of the treaty is to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, disarmament and promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Every five years there is an evaluation of the results achieved. The tenth review conference was supposed to take place in 2020, but was postponed due to the corona pandemic.

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