Nobel Peace Prize winner and former President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias Sanchez today emphasised the need to cut military spending by nations including India so that more money could be spent on development, education and health.
“The world is spending 1.75 trillion dollars on arms and ammunition. Poor countries of the world do not need to spend that much. India is one of the biggest importers of arms. There is need to cut the military spending by all the countries,” he said.
“However, neither exporters nor importers of arms want to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty that seeks to regulate the international trade in arms,” he said during a meeting with Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan at Raj Bhavan here.
Sanchez, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1987 for his efforts to achieve a lasting peace in Central America, is currently on a visit to India under the Distinguished Visitors’ Programme. The visit is being hosted by Indian Council for Cultural Relations of the Union Ministry of External Affairs.
Sanchez told the Governor that he had introduced the Arms Trade Treaty in the United Nations in 2009.
He rued that only 11 governments out of 80 had ratified the Treaty, and added that it would come into force only if it was ratified by 50 states, a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.
Costa Rica, which has a population of 4.5 million, does not have its own army, Sanchez said while he was all praise for India’s democracy.
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