Military investments are underpinned by a belief that states’ security can be guaranteed by threats of violence, instead they are investments in war and conflict.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recalled in 2012, that ‘the world is over-armed and peace is under-funded’. In 2012 the global military expenditure reached 1.75 trillion US dollars; the overall UN budget for Development Assistance is 128.4 billion US dollars. Furthermore, funds reserved for development initiatives are increasingly spent on emergency relief and rehabilitation operations to clean up after violent conflicts aggravated by the proliferation of arms.
There are many direct and indirect links between military expenditure and the reduction of available resources for social and economic development. The military-industrial complex — composed of a state’s armed forces, government, suppliers of weapons systems and services (corporations), as well as academic institutions that conduct research on weapon systems and designs — absorbs vast amounts of funding that could otherwise be spent on human security, including the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Time to move the money
The continued investment in militarism does not make the world safer. Weapons cannot address the main threats people all over the world are facing today, such as natural disasters, increased food prices, and lack of adequate health care, education, and a clean environment. Therefore, governments need to reallocate both finances and priorities and stop wasting resources on excessive military spending and instead fund human needs and rights.
Let’s challenge militarism by calling on governments to reallocate the enormous resources currently invested in the military sector to fund human needs and contribute positively to promote human security and peace.
Join us on the 4th edition of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) on
Monday, 14 April 2014
GDAMS is an initiative of the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and every year it coincides with the release of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) annual statistics on global military spending.
In support of GDAMS, WILPF is launching a campaign to raise public awareness about excessive military spending by proposing alternative resources’ allocation.
Download the template and find out how to participate!