UN arms official says risk of nuclear war at its highest since WW2

UN arms official says risk of nuclear war at its highest since WW2
© Getty Images

The head of the United Nations' Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) says that the world is now at the greatest risk of global nuclear war since the end of World War II.

Reuters reported Tuesday that UNIDIR Director Renata Dwan said in an interview that the use of nuclear weapons is more likely today than any time since the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1945, adding that the use of such weapons today carried a greater risk than ever.


“I think that it’s genuinely a call to recognize — and this has been somewhat missing in the media coverage of the issues — that the risks of nuclear war are particularly high now, and the risks of the use of nuclear weapons, for some of the factors I pointed out, are higher now than at any time since World War II," she told the news service, speaking about a call from 122 nations to ban such weapons entirely.

The U.N. Security Council, Dwan said, is not doing enough to mitigate the risk of the world descending into war with nuclear weapons.

“How we think about that, and how we act on that risk and the management of that risk, seems to me a pretty significant and urgent question that isn’t reflected fully in the (U.N.) Security Council,” she told Reuters.

The Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which is backed by a group that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, is currently supported by more than 100 nations, most of which do not have nuclear weapons. It has been ratified by 23 countries out of the 50 it requires to take effect.

The U.S., which has advocated against the proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world, has opposed the treaty, as do other nuclear powers such as Russia and China.