UN Institute for Disarmament Research director Renata Dwan has called it an urgent issue that the world should take more seriously.
All states with nuclear weapons have nuclear modernisation programs under way, she said, adding that the arms control landscape is changing, partly due to strategic competition between China and the US.
Traditional arms control arrangements are also being eroded by the emergence of new types of war.
There is an increasing prevalence of armed groups and private sector forces, and new technologies that blur the line between offence and defence, Dwan told reporters in Geneva on Wednesday.
With disarmament talks stalemated for the past two decades, 122 countries have signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, partly out of frustration and partly out of a recognition of the risks.
“I think that it’s genuinely a call to recognise … 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,” Dwan said.
On Wednesday, China’s disarmament ambassador in Geneva accused Washington of sabotaging and tearing up deals, having a “Cold War mentality” and displaying bullying behaviour.
Want to comment?
Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.
We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.
InDaily has changed the way we receive comments. Go here for an explanation.
Local News Matters
Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help InDaily continue to uncover the facts.