The world is experiencing troubling times. We have the COVID-19 pandemic, a global cost of living crisis, a changing climate, and record heat waves. The United Nations has warned of an increasing danger – nuclear annihilation. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that one small mistake could lead to a nuclear war. Mr Guterres warned that international tensions were "reaching new highs". He pointed to the Ukraine War, the Korean peninsula, and the Middle East as possible flashpoints. He said, "we have been extraordinarily lucky so far" to have avoided nuclear conflict. He said: "Luck is not a strategy. Nor is it a shield from geopolitical tensions boiling over into nuclear conflict."
Guterres painted a picture of a world close to war. He said the danger level is at its highest since the Cold War. He warned that: "Humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation." Guterres was speaking at a conference for countries signed up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This started in 1968. He said the conference was "a chance to strengthen" the Treaty and "make it fit for the worrying world around us". He added: "Eliminating nuclear weapons is the only guarantee that they will never be used." He said: "Almost 13,000 nuclear weapons are now being held in arsenals around the world…at a time when the risks of proliferation are growing."