Status: 01.08.2022 6:58 p.m.
UN chief Guterres has warned the world community of the growing danger of nuclear annihilation. He called for the abolition of all nuclear weapons. Russian President Putin has warned that there will be no winners in a nuclear war.
In view of the many crises around the world, UN Secretary General António Guterres has warned of the growing risk of nuclear annihilation. The world is in a “period of nuclear danger unprecedented since the height of the Cold War”, António Guterres said at the start of the NPT review conference in New York.
“A miscalculation of nuclear annihilation” removed
“Humanity risks forgetting the lessons forged in the terrible fires of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” The world is only one misunderstanding or miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.
Guterres said geopolitical tensions had reached a new height, citing Russia’s war with Ukraine, conflicts in the Middle East and on the Korean Peninsula, and crises with “nuclear overtones”.
Guterres: Abolition of nuclear weapons
The elimination of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee that they will never be used, declared António Guterres. He therefore called on conference participants to urgently confirm and strengthen “the 77-year-old norm against the use of nuclear weapons”, to work tirelessly for the elimination of nuclear weapons and to reach agreements to reduce arsenals. At the same time, he stressed that the peaceful use of nuclear technologies – including for medical purposes – must be encouraged.
The 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons aims to prevent nuclear proliferation, promote nuclear disarmament and promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. 191 countries have joined the agreement – including the United States, China, Russia, France and Great Britain.
A review every five years
It stipulates that only the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom can possess nuclear weapons. The other four presumed nuclear powers India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea have not joined the treaty or have withdrawn from it. A review is scheduled every five years to determine the extent to which the objectives of the Non-Proliferation Treaty have been achieved.
The Tenth Review Conference was scheduled to take place in 2020, but was postponed due to the corona pandemic. Foreign Ministers are also due to speak at the start of the day. The conference runs until August 26.
Putin: nuclear war would have no winner
In a letter to conference participants, Russian President Vladimir Putin said there can be no winners in a nuclear war. Such a war should never start.
International concerns about the risk of a nuclear confrontation have grown since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. In a speech at the time, Putin made specific reference to Russia’s nuclear arsenal and warned outside powers against any attempt to interfere.
Baerbock: nuclear disarmament
Before leaving for New York, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock also warned against continuing the fight for nuclear disarmament despite all wars, conflicts and threatening gestures. “Even though this goal may seem so distant in the current global situation, we must never lose sight of this goal and must be persistent in its implementation.” Together with 15 other countries, Germany has made 22 proposals for nuclear disarmament. If you get “even a millimeter” ahead in New York, it’s worth every effort, says Baerbock.
Iran is also a problem
In view of the tensions and stalled negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, also called on Tehran in his speech: “We need adequate access to the breadth and depth of this nuclear problem.” Only then will the IAEA be able to “provide the necessary and credible assurances that all activity in the Islamic Republic of Iran serves peaceful purposes” .
Negotiations on a revival of the 2015 deal between Iran and the six contracting parties – China, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and the United States – have stalled since March. Iran, meanwhile, has signaled its willingness to resume nuclear talks.
Guterres: Only the destruction of nuclear weapons prevents their use
Peter Mücke, ARD New York, August 1, 2022 6:04 p.m.