UN chief issues dire warning of risk of ‘nuclear destruction’

The UN secretary-general warned on Monday that humanity was “just a misunderstanding, a miscalculation far from nuclear destruction,” citing the war in Ukraine escalating the risk between conflicts to a level that has been around since the height of the Cold War. was not seen from

“All of this is happening at a time when the risks of the spread are rising and the guardrails are weakening to prevent escalation,” said official Antonio Guterres. “And while the crisis – along with nuclear undertones – are celebrating for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula.”

Mr Guterres was speaking at the opening session of a conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to discuss maintaining and achieving a 50-year-old global treaty aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. I was talked about. for final disarmament.

The conference took place after a two-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was attended by high-level representatives from member states, including the Prime Minister of Japan, the US Secretary of State, and dozens of foreign ministers and delegations.

The threat of a nuclear conflict or nuclear accident arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a recurring theme in many speeches of the day.

President Vladimir V. Putin and other Russians have repeatedly suggested that a nuclear war could break out if NATO intervened in the war in Ukraine. His army used the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster as a stage in the spring and now a nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhya, has been turned into a war fortress.

In his remarks at the session, Foreign Minister Antony J. Blinken said the treaty has made the world safer, but tensions are rising. Mr. Blinken cited Russia, Iran and North Korea as examples of nuclear concerns.

Mr Blinken denounced Russia for engaging in a “reckless, dangerous nuclear saber rattle” and said North Korea was preparing to conduct its seventh round of nuclear tests. He said Iran had not yet agreed to return to its commitments under the nuclear deal with world powers and “remains on a path of nuclear growth.”

Russia and Iran are among the 191 signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes, which the West has questioned, and it has prompted efforts to work on a deal with Iran to blunt its nuclear ambitions.

Mr Blinken criticized Russia for using the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant to attack Ukraine’s military, saying Ukrainians were unable to back down over concerns that they might attack a nuclear reactor or store radioactive waste. Huh.

“It brings the notion of being a human shield to a completely different and terrifying level,” said Mr. Blinken.

The conference, which normally meets every five years, will review three priorities of the treaty: preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, promoting and supporting peaceful nuclear energy, and working toward global disarmament. But given the current divide between world powers, little concrete results are expected.

Mr Putin, who put his nuclear forces into “special combat readiness” in the early days of the invasion in February, also sent a message to the non-proliferation conference.

“We believe that there can be no winner in a nuclear war, and it should never be fought,” Mr Putin wrote according to Russian news agency Tass. “We advocate equal and indivisible protection for all members of the international community.”

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