Why Militarism?

By: Michael Albert

In a recent essay the incredibly creative and prolific David Swanson wrote a piece about military expenditures. He points out that “in 2001, U.S. military spending was $397 billion” but that it is $610 billion in 2015″ and adds that if one accounts for “debt payments, veterans costs, and civil defense,” the figure climbs “to over $1 trillion a year now,” even “not counting state and local spending on the military.” Continue reading–>

What causes conflict and how can it be resolved? – A podcast

From the ready availability of weapons to the marginalisation of women, many factors can push a population towards conflict

Hugh Muir and Clár Ní Chonghaile present this edition of the Global development podcast, which examines the factors that drive conflict, assesses the role women and the UN can play in peacebuilding, and asks what the sustainable development goals will do to help tackle the issue.

Gustavo de Carvalho, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa, talks about the role of militarisation in driving conflict, while Laura Hammond, head of the development studies department at the School of Oriental Studies in London, argues that the ready availability of weapons and the marginalisation of women do nothing to promote peace. Both De Carvalho and Hammond identify economic factors as a key driver of conflict.

We also hear from Leymah Gbowee, the Nobel peace laureate and Liberian activist, who says women should be given more space to promote peace at national and international levels.

Debating the significance of these issues are Radhika Coomaraswamy, formerly the UN secretary general’s special representative for children and armed conflict, Maria Butler, director of the PeaceWomen project, and Colin Archer, secretary general of the International Peace Bureau. Listen to the podcast

Message from Federico Mayor, former UNESCO Director-General, on military spending campaign

26 May 2015. IPB is delighted to publish the following message from the former Director-General of UNESCO:

Dear admired friends,
Many thanks for your message concerning the new Global Campaign on Military Spending. I repeat every day – because it is a crucial issue for my behaviour and personal commitment – that it is intolerable that nearly $1800 billion are invested annually in military expenditure and armament for the “security” of less than 20% of humanity, while (according to the World Food Program) more than 3 million children under five die of hunger. This is really unacceptable. Continue reading–>

Peace Activists Cross Demilitarized Zone Separating Koreas

By Choe Sang-Hun

PAJU, South Korea — A group of 30 female peace activists, including the feminist leader Gloria Steinem and two Nobel Peace Prize laureates, crossed the demilitarized zone from North Korea to South Korea on Sunday, calling for an end to the Korean War, whose unresolved hostility has been symbolized by the heavily armed border for six decades.  Continue reading–>