Fifty years on from the Cuban missile crisis the world has still not learned the lessons of this grim period of human history, CND warned today.
For 13 days in October 1962 the world teetered on the brink of Mutually Assured Destruction as the USSR and the US engaged in one of the most dangerous stand-offs of the cold war.
For many the events of October 1962 further highlighted the folly of nuclear proliferation, yet half a century later proliferation is accelerating and billions continue to be poured into the accumulation of nuclear stockpiles.
CND general secretary Kate Hudson said that the anniversary was a vital opportunity for the world to reassess its slavish adherence to nuclear weapons.
"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," she said.
"But the bleak reality is that we have not moved forward. 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."
The only rational way forward, she argued, was a nuclear weapons convention.
"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."
Ms Hudson added that while some progress had been made through the Start (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) agreement between the US and Russia, this was only the tip of the iceberg.