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The threat of the use of deliberate or unintentional nuclear weapons is growing, UN official Izumi Nakamitsu said at the preliminary discussion of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

The United States, which owns the largest nuclear arsenal, also warned that that the prospects for progress on disarmament was currently “bleak”, AFP reported. 

The NPT treaty is aimed at preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and at the same time implies the responsibility of the states to reduce nuclear stockpiles.

According to Nakamitsu, the overall “geopolitical environment is deteriorating.” She noted that "modernisation programmes by nuclear-weapons states are leading to what many see as a new, qualitative arms race."

According to her, all the major powers have been engaged in “continuous and successive negotiations on arms control and disarmament. Yet not only have we seen an unfortunate hiatus in these efforts, there are real concerns that unless we reverse this trend we will soon be back in a situation for the first time in which there are no verified constraints on nuclear arsenals”.

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