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U.N. chief urges end to nuclear weapons for 'future generations'

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres urges all nations to abolish nuclear weapons, on International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, as Russian President Vladimir Putin amps up threats in his war in Ukraine. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/fce68b57a37d680ee0018d1f2eb5e18f/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres urges all nations to abolish nuclear weapons, on International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, as Russian President Vladimir Putin amps up threats in his war in Ukraine. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 26 (UPI) -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged all nations to abolish nuclear weapons, which "offer no security, just carnage and chaos," as Russian President Vladimir Putin amps up threats in his war against Ukraine.

Guterres made his remarks Monday to a special U.N. General Assembly session on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, which has been marked every year since 2013, as he offered his New Agenda for Peace.

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"The Cold War brought humanity within minutes of annihilation. Now, decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we can hear once again the rattling of nuclear sabers," Guterres told the General Assembly.

"The era of nuclear blackmail must end. The idea that any country could fight and win a nuclear war is deranged."

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"Nuclear disarmament is not a utopian dream. I urge all countries to ease tensions, reduce risk and forge a new consensus around defusing the nuclear threat for good," Guterres tweeted after his speech. "Eliminating these devices of death is possible and necessary."

Last week, Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons in Russia's war in Ukraine, warning "it's not a bluff." Putin also said he was partially mobilizing hundreds of thousands of reservists in Russia to bolster the military in Ukraine in what is believed to be the first mobilization in Russia since World War II.

The United States called the military aggression "outrageous" and urged the United Nations to push back against Moscow's military campaign and support Ukraine.

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Guterres said United Nations members are frustrated with the "slow pace of disarmament" and are concerned about "the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of even a single nuclear weapon, let alone a regional or global nuclear war."

Last month, the parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons fell short of reaching an agreement.

"We are disappointed -- but we will not give up," Guterres said. "I urge all States to use every avenue of dialogue, diplomacy and negotiation to ease tensions, reduce risk and eliminate the nuclear threat."

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"My proposed New Agenda for Peace calls for meaningful disarmament and developing a common understanding for the multiple threats before us," Guterres said.

"I pledge to work closely with all Member States to forge a new consensus around how we can collectively defuse these threats and achieve our shared goal of peace."

"Any use of a nuclear weapon would incite a humanitarian Armageddon," Guterres warned. "We need to step back."

'Nuclear weapons are the most destructive power ever created," he said. "Their elimination would be the greatest gift we could bestow on future generations."

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