A representative of IPB’s Global Campaign On Military Spending (GCOMS) participated on April 12-13 on the international conference Move the Nuclear Weapons Money: Invest in the Future, which was hosted by the Basel City Kanton/government and brought together legislators (parliamentarians and city councilors), climate change and disarmament experts, investment fund managers and activists to address and reverse the corporate and financial interests which are maintaining a fossil fuel based economy and a nuclear arms race.
The conference advanced two key tools:
1. Divestment from nuclear weapons and fossil fuel industries:
2. Investment in peace and sustainability, with a focus on investments by governments, pension funds, cities, universities, religious organizations and banks.
Conference participants gave numerous examples of fossil fuel and nuclear weapons divestment. Although the amount of money divested globally so far is moderate, the range of examples indicate the potential to move considerably more money from fossil fuels and nuclear weapons to better things, and so make a real contribution to climate protection and disarmament.
Quique Sánchez, the GCOMS representative, introduced the campaign as an example of activists’ networking and cooperative work. His presentation took place on the second day of the conference, which was coincidentally the kick-off of the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS). He put an emphasis on this special period of action, which takes place from April 13 to May 9 under the motto ‘Demilitarize! Invest in people’s needs’. GDAMS is directed to raise awareness on exorbitant military expenditures and increasing global militarization, and in line with this he highlighted the $ 1.74 trillion spent in the military the previous year, which should have instead responded to actual human and environmental needs.