The world lives in “the shadow of a nuclear disaster”,

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday warned that the world was living “in the shadow of a nuclear catastrophe,” fueled by growing mistrust and tensions between nuclear powers.

The UN chief said at a high-level meeting to commemorate the recent International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons that progress in ridding the world of nuclear weapons “has stagnated and is in danger of retreating”. And he said that tensions between countries with nuclear weapons “have increased nuclear risks.”

As an example, Guterres has expressed deep concern over escalating disputes between the Trump administration and China. Relations between the United States and Russia are at an all-time low. India and Pakistan with nuclear weapons are fighting over Kashmir, and India just had a border skirmish with China. And North Korea is bragging about its nuclear weapons.

Guterres also pointed to the only treaty limiting the size of the world’s largest nuclear arsenals – the new strategic arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russia – which is due to expire next year.

“It is imperative” that the two countries extend it without delay for a maximum of five years, he said, warning that without a treaty there is an “alarming possibility of a return to unconstrained strategic competition”. […]

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, whose country is still part of a 2015 deal with Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear weapons, said the meeting “offers a unique opportunity to mobilize the world to free humanity from the nuclear nightmare.” “

In short, pre-recorded remarks, Zarif accused the United States of “developing new nuclear weapons and recklessly lowering the threshold for their deployment.” He said the United States also caused “immense damage to the NPT by illegally withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia on missiles. […]

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said that despite the “catastrophic humanitarian consequences” of the atomic bombings, “the nuclear threat is greater than ever and multilateralism is under great pressure”. Läs artikel