World dangerously close to increased use of nuclear weapons, British politicians warn

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-24 19:23:14|Editor: xuxin
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LONDON, April 24 (Xinhua) -- The threat of nuclear weapons being used through misunderstanding or miscalculation has risen, a committee of British politicians warned Wednesday.

In a new report, the International Relations Committee of the House of Lords called on the British government to encourage greater dialogue between all nuclear possessor states about nuclear risk to reduce global tensions.

Their report, "Rising nuclear risk, disarmament and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," has been published just days before states convene for the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which is scheduled to hold its third session from April 29 to May 10 at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Committee Chairman Lord Howell said: "We are now dangerously close to a world without arms control agreements, paving the way for a new arms race and for increased risk of nuclear weapons use.

"Disintegrating relationships between nuclear possessor states, new capabilities and technologies, mixed with a lack of communication and understanding, mean that the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater now than it has been since the Cold War."

Howell said the UN conference next week is an opportunity to push for more efficient dialogue and transparency between nuclear possessor states to show a demonstrable commitment to disarmament.

"We urge the (British) government to take our serious concerns into consideration, and use the Preparatory Committee to address them," he added.

In its conclusions, the committee says its main concerns are that misunderstanding, miscalculation or mistakes could lead to the use of nuclear weapons.

"There is a lack of understanding between nuclear possessor states on their respective nuclear doctrines and declaratory policies, for example what the response would be to a cyber-attack on a country's nuclear command and control system," the report says.

It adds that global nuclear non-proliferation efforts have been undermined by the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.