The world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place, and the threat of nuclear weapons is a major factor in this. Russia has been the first state to use nuclear threats as part of a war of expansion, and this has caused alarm among many international organizations. Yves Daccord, Director General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), spoke out in April last year about the increased risk of nuclear weapons being used and the need to abolish them. This is a worrying development, as it shows that states are now willing to use nuclear weapons as a tool for expansion.
The proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials to manufacture them, combined with regional tensions, terrorism and new technologies such as cybernetics, means that the risk of a nuclear weapon or device being used is higher than ever before. Russia's threats have also had a major impact on the cost-benefit estimates of nuclear non-proliferation in many countries. In response to this, several multilateral treaties have been established with the aim of preventing proliferation and nuclear testing, while promoting progress in nuclear disarmament. The very existence of nuclear weapons is a threat to future generations and, indeed, to the survival of mankind.
Moniz and Sam Nunn have praised the Joint Declaration of the leaders of China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States who pledge to prevent nuclear war and prevent arms races. They have also applauded their assertion that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”. This is an important step forward in reducing the threat posed by nuclear weapons. However, it is clear that more needs to be done to reduce the threat posed by nuclear weapons.
Iran is slowly developing the capacity to produce a nuclear weapon on short notice, which could lead to further proliferation. It is therefore essential that all states work together to reduce the risk posed by nuclear weapons and ensure that they are never used again.