Home LATEST NEWS The five great powers say it: nuclear war is unmanageable

The five great powers say it: nuclear war is unmanageable

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Before the 10th Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, scheduled for January, but postponed to a later date due to a pandemic, the five powers (United States, China, Russia, United Kingdom and France , or P5) tried to reassure the planet about the prospect of an obviously cataclysmic confrontation.

In the midst of negotiations with Iran, suspected of wanting to acquire the atomic bomb, they underline their desire to progress in disarmament, with the ultimate goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world, according to a press release from the French presidency, which coordinates the work of these countries.

The signatories promise to strengthen their measures to prevent unauthorized or unintentional use of nuclear weapons, continues the text, one week away from a Russian-American negotiation in Geneva on nuclear arms control treaties and the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border.

Above all, we affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, asserts the P5, hammering that these weapons as long as they exist, must be used for defensive purposes, deterrence and prevention of war.

This concept of unmanageable nuclear war was discussed in 1985 in Geneva by Russian heads of state Mikhail Gorbachev and American heads of state Ronald Reagan. Corn he had never been taken back on his own by the P5, underlines Marc Finaud, proliferation expert at the Geneva Security Policy Center (GCSP).

They accepted the resumption of this doctrine that many countries and civil societies are demanding, he added to AFP, with this willingness to tell the world that all these concerns about the risk of nuclear war are unfounded.

In fact, declarations have multiplied recently on the volatile nature of global geopolitics, between Sino-American tensions over Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific, the noise of boots in Ukraine, multiple crises in the Near and Middle East and disastrous consequences of COVID. -19.

An echo of the appeal of the UN Secretary General

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres himself sounded the alarm bells in December from a rostrum.

It would only take a misunderstanding or a mistake of judgment to result not only in suffering and death on an appalling scale, but also the end of all life on Earth..

The NPT, which entered into force in 1970 to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, has 191 states parties. Monday’s five signatories are the five states legally recognized by the treaty as equipped with nuclear weapons. Three other countries considered to be holders – India, Pakistan and Israel – are non-signatories. North Korea, for its part, denounced the NPT.

The statements also come as negotiations have resumed in Vienna to relaunch the 2015 Iran Nuclear Program Agreement (JCPOA), which became moribund after the US withdrawal in 2018.

On Monday, Moscow welcomed a statement that would help reduce the level of international tensions, according to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The text will help to increase mutual trust and replace competition between the great powers with coordination and cooperation, said the official New China news agency, citing Deputy Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu.

Asked by AFP, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2017, welcomed a statement positive. Corn the fact that everyone is modernizing and renewing their arsenals at the same time completely calls it into question, estimated Jean-Marie Collin, spokesperson for ICAN France.

Paradoxically, this declaration also reminds us that the signatories in no way intend to give up their arsenal, notes Emmanuelle Maître, of the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS).

It is a declaration of a political nature, to show that despite the disagreements, the tensions, the modernization of the arsenals, there is still a form of responsibility of the P5, she believes. The goal is to remove some weight to the argument that any nuclear weapon poses a manifest danger on the planet.

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