UNITED NATIONS, May 1 (Xinhua) -- Robert Mardini, permanent observer for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to the United Nations, on Wednesday said that concerted efforts to reduce nuclear risks are urgently needed.
In light of some disturbing developments, "concerted efforts to reduce nuclear risks are urgently needed," Mardini told the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), held at the UN headquarters in New York.
"The risk of use of nuclear weapons is increasing. Previous restraints are steadily falling away. We see a shift from a focus on non-use and elimination to making the use of nuclear weapons possible or more likely," he said.
Noting that "military incidents between nuclear weapon states are occurring with disturbing frequency," the permanent observer said that "the risk that nuclear weapons could be used may be greater today than during the Cold War."
Since 1995, NPT review conferences have produced decisions, action plans, practical steps and measures to improve the effectiveness of the review process itself.
The NPT, signed in 1968 and effective since 1970, is the only treaty that contains legally-binding commitments to pursuing nuclear disarmament. A total of 191 states have joined the treaty.