United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently proclaimed that the heightened geopolitical tensions throughout the world are enhancing the risk of nuclear war.
Per Guterres, tensions have not been this high since the most acute moments of the Cold War.
During his New York appearance, Guterres made a series of stunning remarks regarding the state of world affairs as far as nuclear weapons are concerned, amplifying concerns regarding the intensity of future conflict.
In comments to the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Guterres observed that “the clouds that parted following the end of the Cold War are gathering once more.”
“We have been extraordinarily lucky so far,” Guterres continued, “but luck is not a strategy, nor is it a shield from geopolitical tensions boiling over into nuclear conflict.”
At different points during his speech, Guterres cited several troubling facts and figures, including the fact that “almost 13,000 nuclear weapons are now being held in arsenals all over the world,” a troubling trend during times “when the risks of proliferation are growing.”
Guterres also noted that the “guardrails” that served against several threats have severely weakened, which is problematic in light of rising tension in the Middle East and Korean Peninsula.
The UN Secretary General then proceeded to make his most remarkable comments of all, which pertained to the potential for “nuclear annihilation.”
“Today, humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation,” Guterres intoned ominously, “we need the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as much as ever.”
The UN Secretary General issued a strong plea for the responsible use of nuclear technology, as well as for all nations to respect the treaty regarding nonproliferation.
“We are all here today because we believe in the Treaty’s purpose and function,” Guterres urged, noting that ensuring the continued influence of the treaty would require effort beyond the “status quo” in the future.
It is unclear how these efforts beyond the “status quo” would be achieved.