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Reader letter: We have never been closer to a nuclear war

PUBLISHED: 10:16 05 February 2018

The clock is ticking.... (Getty Images)

The clock is ticking.... (Getty Images)

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One reader is wondering why the UN is not doing more to prevent catastrophes like genocide and nuclear war.

According to the organisation of nuclear scientists that controls the Doomsday Clock, the 71-year-old measurement of how close we are to a human-caused global crisis, we have never been closer to a nuclear war.

I do not know how they construct this particular indicator expressed in terms of clock time before midnight, but at least it is a vivid way to communicate, and especially when the risk indicates two minutes to midnight. However, this is a situation where the clock can be turned back and most people on the planet expect the UN to recognise such risk and take effective action, but as I see it, the UN, like its predecessor the League of Nations, is not fit for purpose. In reality the de facto policeman has been and still is the USA, but on this issue he is being ignored.

In my opinion the real indicators should be risk assessments based on specific and distinguishable risk such as the clear and inescapable threats repeatedly made by despotic rulers of undemocratic nations. Worse still, when irrefutable evidence from real time video reporting shows that genocide is really ignored in terms of prevention.

Iran likes to be portrayed as the cradle of civilisation but is acknowledged as the main supporter of terrorism in the world and makes repeated threats to eradicate Israel from the face of the earth.

Like their policy for terrorism their threats are not bluster

but are menacing and premonitory as evidenced by a culture of fomented hatred. In any case they constitute a breach of the International Convention to Prevent Genocide, so why such menacing regimes be allowed to produce thermonuclear weapons? Or why does Britain support the agreement for Iran’s nuclear programme when the de facto world’s policeman now urges the opposite?

On the 20th commemoration of the Rwanda genocide, UN Sec Gen Ban Ki-moon said: “We have learned important lessons. We know more keenly than ever that genocide is not a single event but a process that evolves over time and requires planning and resources to carry out. As chilling as that sounds, it also means that with adequate information, mobilisation, courage and political will, genocide can be prevented” — So why isn’t it?

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