JFK Cuban Missile Crisis Speech (10/22/1962)
Experts: nuclear threat has not been so high since the Cuban missile crisis
Politicians, military and diplomats call on UN to take lead on arms control
World leaders attending the UN General Assembly, which begins Tuesday in New York, should prioritize nuclear arms control, a group of political, military and diplomatic experts from Europe and Russia said. More than 100 people issued a joint statement warning that the risk of nuclear incidents, mistakes or miscalculations has not been so high since the Cuban missile crisis..
The US-Russia Intermediate-Range Missile Elimination Treaty formally terminated last month. Washington accused Moscow of violating the terms of the treaty and said that the agreement was outdated and should be replaced with a treaty involving other nuclear powers.
This month, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would begin building new missiles that had been banned by the INF Treaty, but would not deploy them unless Washington did so first..
Amid increasing risks, the UN should take the lead on global arms control, said former British Defense Secretary Des Brown, who now heads the European Leadership Network think tank, which coordinated the statement..
“The arms control architecture we’ve relied on for decades is shaking. And, further complicating the situation, they are developing new technologies that, in combination with nuclear weapons, create not only unregulated capacities, but also unprecedented risks, “says Brown..
Such weapons include hypersonic missiles, which are currently being developed in Russia, the United States, China and Australia. Such a weapon develops a speed 25 times higher than the speed of sound and is able to bypass all defense systems..
More and more countries are seeking to develop their own missile systems. 30 years after the end of the cold war, Europe remains at the forefront, says Brown.
At the same time, the persons who signed the statement warn that not only European security is under threat. North Korea has built up its own nuclear arsenal, tensions rise between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, and a nuclear deal with Iran is in danger of collapse due to the US withdrawal.
The signatories call on the United States and Russia to find new approaches to the development of new weapons, and insist that China and other nuclear powers should move towards strategic stability. In the current geopolitical environment, reaching agreement at the UN will not be easy.