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António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, is a Portuguese politician. Guterres was born in Lisbon on April 30, 1949, religiously described as "complete madness" a possible new nuclear arms race and called for a change of course.

"I pledged to do everything in my power to mobilize countries around the need to remove these destructive means from the face of the earth," he said on the final day of the UN General Assembly in New York. "The situation is urgent. An alarming arms race begins. The number of nuclear weapons could increase for the first time in decades," he said, expressing regret that "the global disarmament and non-proliferation architecture is shaking."

"As nuclear arsenals modernize, these weapons become faster, more precise and more invisible. Once again, the threat of nuclear weapons is being exploited. This is complete madness. We have to turn the tide," Guterres said.

Guterres: Russia's war in Ukraine raises nuclear threat level

"Any use of nuclear weapons, no matter where, when, or under what circumstances, would cause a humanitarian catastrophe of colossal proportions. This is not hyperbole," the UN secretary-general stressed.

Guterres called on the nuclear powers to "set an example" by committing "never and under any circumstances to use nuclear weapons."

The secretary-general also called for a "full moratorium" on nuclear testing.

"For too long, the world has lived in the shadow of nuclear weapons. Let's move away from the abyss," he urged, expressing hope that these weapons will be able to become "relics of the past."

Guterres did not name a single country, but his comments on the occasion of the International Day for the Complete Elimination of Nuclear Weapons come at a time when the war in Ukraine has rekindled fears of the use of nuclear weapons. The international community is also concerned about other parts of the world, notably North Korea and Iran, which deny wanting to acquire nuclear weapons.

Antonio Guterres

Nuclear weapons