The Red Cross yesterday called for a total ban on nuclear weapons, warning of the growing risk that such arms could again be used with devastating effect. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies launched a global campaign to raise awareness about the rising nuclear threat facing the world.

In a joint statement in Geneva, they said some nuclear-armed states were straying from their "long-standing nuclear disarmament obligations". The statement said these nuclear-armed nations were also upgrading their arsenals, developing new kinds of nuclear weapons and making them easier to use.

The notonukes.org campaign comes after the United States and Russia announced to abandon the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

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