Humanity's just one misunderstanding away from 'nuclear annihilation' warns UN chief

The UN chief was speaking at the opening of the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which runs through 26 August.

Mr. Guterres highlighted some of the current challenges to global peace and security, with the world under greater stress due to the climate crisis, stark inequalities, conflicts and human rights violations, as well as the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disarmament not disunity
He said the meeting is taking place amid these challenges, and at a time of nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War.

"Geopolitical tensions are reaching new highs. Competition is trumping co-operation and collaboration. Distrust has replaced dialogue and disunity has replaced disarmament. States are seeking false security in stockpiling and spending hundreds of billions of dollars on doomsday weapons that have no place on our planet," he said.

Currently, almost 13,000 nuclear weapons are now being held in arsenals around the world, he added.

"All this at a time when the risks of proliferation are growing and guardrails to prevent escalation are weakening.x202Fx202F And when crises -- with nuclear undertones -- are festering, From the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula. To the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and to many other factors around the world."

He said today, humanity was "just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation."

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