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Discussions surrounding nuclear weapons have been thrust into the limelight recently with the U.S. negotiations with Iran heating up ("Iranian leaders lining up to support a nuclear deal," March 25).

How are we to address the real threat of nuclear weapons in our globalized world? It seems like an impossible feat. Today, there are more than 16,000 nuclear weapons globally. Not only do these weapons threaten our national security, they also pose a grave risk of humanitarian disaster as countries possessing nuclear weapons continue to pour money into these "accidents waiting to happen."

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Rather than get caught up in petty politics, we need to work urgently to eliminate these threats. The only conclusive and verifiable way to do so is by stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons and securing all nuclear materials, thereby creating a world with no nuclear weapons: "Global zero."

This can only happen if countries that possess nuclear weapons come together to discuss real solutions and agree to take pragmatic action. We need to engage in diplomacy, not war. We can't afford to wait for a catastrophe to occur before taking action.

We owe it to ourselves and to future generations to take action now to ensure that no citizen lives with the fear of a nuclear attack.

Lauren Meyer, Baltimore

The writer is a student leader of Global Zero, a nuclear disarmament movement.

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