“Twenty-six years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, there are still more than 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world – with many hundreds kept on hair-trigger alert, ready to launch at a moment’s notice.”

This is a terrifying statistic, and similar to many included in a new report released by Global Zero, which highlights the rising risks that nuclear weapons pose. Following the report's release, a youth-led group of activists joined forces to project a powerful reminder to world leaders at the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations.

“The risks that nuclear weapons will be used are trending in the wrong direction. Urgent action must be taken to stand down nuclear weapons, reverse this trend and get us back on track to reducing and ultimately eliminating all nuclear weapons globally. We must not wait for a catastrophe before we act,” said Global Zero executive director Derek Johnson.

Achieving “global zero”, which calls for the spread of nuclear weapons to stop, requires all nuclear materials to be secured and demands all nuclear weapons are eliminated – eradicating all existential nuclear threat. This plan has received fierce backing by political leaders, military commanders and national security experts worldwide, but Global Zero is now challenging world leaders to act too.

As part of their agenda, Global Zero has launched the Global Zero Action Corps – a groundbreaking new initiative that will leverage the talent, energy and commitment of young people, to build a large-scale and sustained grassroots movement in key regions.

The Action Corps will then work to engage and train up to 1,000 volunteers in the US who will in turn establish and lead local teams. The idea behind the initiative is to build a high-powered army of volunteer activists, all of whom are working for the elimination of nuclear weapons. And it is through this grassroots operation that Global Zero’s capacity for public activism will be able to have far greater reach.

Applications for Action Corps 2015 have closed, but you can sign up to be notified when you can apply for Action Corps 2016.

Find out more more about Global Zero – will you join the movement?