Geneva: A top UN official sounded the alarm over a new, looming arms race and warned that the risk that devastating nuclear weapons could be used was on the rise.
“The threat of the use, intentional or otherwise, of nuclear weapons is growing,” the UN’s representative for disarmament affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, told a preliminary review meeting of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The United States, which holds one of the world’s largest nuclear arsenals, also warned the conference that the prospects for progress on disarmament was currently “bleak”.
The NPT, negotiated at the height of the Cold War nearly a half century ago, seeks to prevent the spread of atomic weapons while putting the onus on nuclear states to reduce their stockpiles.
Speaking at the opening of the Geneva meeting, Nakamitsu warned that “the world today faces similar challenges to the context that gave birth to the NPT.” –
“Rhetoric about the necessity and utility of nuclear weapons is on the rise,” she said, stressing that “modernisation programmes by nuclear-weapons states are leading to what many see as a new, qualitative arms race.” The NPT treaty, which counts 191 member states, faces a comprehensive review every five years, with preparatory committees each year in between. (AFP)