50 years on from the Cuban missile crisis, we have still not learned the lessons of this grim period of human history, says CND’s Kate Hudson.

“Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the brink of a catastrophic nuclear war is a crucial time to look back at the wanton recklessness of previous generations: a moment to take stock of how far we have come since then.”

“But the bleak reality is that we have not moved forward” said Hudson. “In fact, with global nuclear proliferation accelerating and with countless billions being poured into the modernisation of nuclear weapons systems, we are taking dangerous, irresponsible steps backwards.”

“Spending on nuclear weapons worldwide will top $1 trillion in the next decade, and with the spread of nuclear technology through civil nuclear programmes, the risks of nuclear terrorism and further states developing nuclear weapons are manifold.”

“A Nuclear Weapons Convention is the only rational way forward. States must reassess their blind commitment to maintaining nuclear arsenals and genuinely work towards their legal obligations as signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: to negotiate in good faith towards disarmament.”

“Reductions of stockpiles are an essential part of the process, and we have seen some progress through the START agreement between the US and Russia. But with the US alone set to spend around $700bn on nuclear weapons over the next decade, this is only the tip of the iceberg.”

“To pass on genuine peace and security to future generations, we cannot afford to ignore the lessons of the past.”