UN Chief Warns World is One Misunderstanding Away from `Nuclear Annihilation’

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday warned the world that “humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.” 

Guterres delivered the warning at the opening of the high-level c meeting to review the 50-year-old treaty aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and achieving a nuclear-free world.  

Guterres warned that “geopolitical weapons are reaching new highs,” with almost 13,000 nuclear weapons in arsenals worldwide, and countries seeking “false security” are spending billions of dollars on “doomsday weapons.” 

“All this at a time when the risks of proliferation are growing, and guardrails to prevent escalation are weakening,” he said, “And when crises — with nuclear undertones — are festering from the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Guterres said. 

Guterres also called on participants to reinforce and reaffirm “the 77-year-old norm against the use of nuclear weapons” and work toward eliminating nuclear weapons with new commitments to reduce arsenals, among other things. 

The Nonproliferation Treaty, known as the NPT, has the widest adherence of any arms control agreement with 191 member countries.  

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