UN chief calls on nuke weapon states to champion disarmament

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

© APA | UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

# 19 March 2024 03:10 (UTC +04:00)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called on nuclear weapon states to lead the way toward nuclear disarmament, including an agreement on no first use, APA reports.

Nuclear weapons are the most destructive weapons ever invented, capable of eliminating all life on Earth. Today, these weapons are growing in power, range and stealth, he told a Security Council meeting on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

An accidental launch is one mistake, one miscalculation, one rash act away. And ultimately, all of humanity will pay the price. A nuclear war must never be waged because a nuclear war can never be won, he said. "There is one path, and one path only, that will vanquish this senseless and suicidal shadow, once and for all. We need disarmament now."

Guterres asked nuclear weapon states to lead the way in six areas.

First, nuclear weapon states must re-engage to develop transparency and confidence-building measures to prevent any use of a nuclear weapon.

Second, nuclear saber-rattling must stop. Threats to use nuclear weapons in any capacity are unacceptable.

Third, nuclear weapon states must reaffirm moratoria on nuclear testing. This means pledging to avoid taking any actions that would undermine the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

Fourth, nuclear disarmament commitments must become action. Nuclear weapon states must honor their commitments to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. And they should pledge to hold each other accountable to these commitments.

Fifth, nuclear weapon states must urgently agree that none of them will be the first to use nuclear weapons. As a matter of fact, none should use them in any circumstances.

Sixth, there must be reductions in the number of nuclear weapons. This reduction must be led by the United States and Russia -- the holders of the largest nuclear arsenals.

Guterres warned that today's geopolitical tensions and mistrust have escalated the risk of nuclear warfare to its highest point in decades.

He asked the Security Council to look beyond today's divisions and state clearly that living with the existential threat of nuclear weapons is unacceptable, and to lead the way to a world free of these instruments of annihilation.