Every year, millions of children go to bed hungry, some will be ill, some will be living on the street and many left without a family or a home due to conflict. They seem to bear the weight of thoughtless adults who either through greed (the military industry) or self importance (leaders who use the resources of their country to wage war on their neighbours or even worse on civil war). If Homo Sapiens is ever to evolve from the shackles of the past, the first step could be to stop producing weapons.
Global Day of Action on Military Spending
Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) takes place every year in mid-April. The day was originally proposed by the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) with the aim of promoting a common awareness of the amounts of money spent on military.
“The International Peace Bureau is happy to announce that the 4th edition of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending will be held on Monday, 14 April 2014. The GDAMS initiative was co-founded in 2011 by the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). The International Peace Bureau is dedicated to the vision of a World Without War. We are a Nobel Peace Laureate (1910); and over the years, 13 of our officers have been recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. Our 320 member organisations in 70 countries, together with individual members form a global network, bringing together expertise and campaigning experience in a common cause. Our current main programme centres on Disarmament for Sustainable Development.
“This year’s day of action coincides, once again, with the release by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) of their annual statistics on global military spending.”
World military expenditure totalled $1.75 trillion in 2013, a fall of 1.9 per cent in real terms since 2012, according to figures released today (April 14) by SIPRI. The fall in the global total comes from decreases in Western countries, led by the United States, and despite increases in all other regions. Read the SIPRI press release or download their Fact Sheet.
Check out demilitarize.org :
On April 14 call on governments and parliaments to cut the funding for Nukes!
What would you choose to spend the nuclear weapons budget on? Make your choice at Cut Nukes not…
Approximately US$100 billion per year is spent on nuclear weapons and their delivery systems (See Global Zero: The cost of nukes). These resources are sorely needed for education, health, job creation, environmental protection (including preventing climate change) and supporting sustainable development. Nuclear weapons spending thus impacts negatively on all countries and the world as a whole – not only the ones with nuclear weapons programs.
Nuclear armed countries:
Encourage your parliamentarians to cut the budgets for nuclear weapons. Examples:
USA: Get your congressperson to support the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE Act), introduced into the Senate by Senator Ed Markey (Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament), co-sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley. Companion legislation has been introduced in the House by Representative Earl Blumenauer;
UK – Encourage your parliamentarian to support the Early Day Motion on cost of the Trident replacement (£25billion), introduced by PNND Council Member Jeremy Corbyn, calling on the government to scrap such plans.
Each B61-12 bomb costs 1.5 times its own weight in gold
Urge your governments and parliaments to call on the nuclear weapons countries to reduce nuclear weapons spending and redirect this funding towards sustainable development. An example is the resolution adopted in the Bangladesh Parliament introduced by PNND Co-President Saber Chowdhury, on 5 April 2010 (anniversary of President Obama’s Prague Speech), noting that “that the $100 billion spent annually on nuclear weapons should be channelled instead towards meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals as well as the urgent climate change adaption funding needs of the most vulnerable countries.”
Call on your governments and parliaments to divest public funds from any nuclear weapons corporations as New Zealand and Norway did a few years ago (See Nuclear Divestment), and Switzerland has done more recently with the Federal Act on War Materials;
Encourage friends and colleagues to ‘Don’t bank on the Bomb’.
Don’t Bank on the Bomb
Other background on nuclear weapons spending:
Global Zero report on nuclear weapons spending
Opportunity Costs: Military Spending and the UN Development Agenda, IPB 2012 Report
Nuclear weapons: at what cost?, Ben Cramer, published by IPB 2009
The Nuclear Weapons Industry’s Money Bombs, Mother Jones, 2012
Arms Down Campaign: In 2009, over 20 million youth endorsed the Religions for Peace Arms Down Campaign statement, calling for a ban on nuclear weapons and redirection of 10% of the world’s military budget (a little bit more than the nuclear weapons budget) to meeting UN Millennium Development Goals.
Nuclear weapons: At what cost?
Also GDAMS UK website lists some creative ways (such as interactive stalls, street theatre etc.) to plan your actions.
Click here for the GDAMS 2014 infographic – Move the money! From Warfare to Welfare.
Do you want to know the amount spend of military around the world – check out http://www.milspend.org – 500 trillion and rising