GCOMS Youth Outreach Programme
‘The United Nations stands today at a new ground zero – a ‘ground zero’ for global disarmament, no longer a place of dread but of hope.’
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
To succeed in challenging the established spending priorities of governments we need to join forces with many other sectors of civil society, especially those who would be the long-term beneficiaries of such a shift, notably the younger generation.
The GCOMS is a permanent, global, year-round campaign to tackle the worldwide issue of excessive military spending. We think that the USD $1700 billion spent by the world’s governments in 2013 on the military sector could instead be reallocated to tackle the climate change issue, to feed the hungry, create jobs for youth and much more. IPB launched this campaign within the frame of its work on Disarmament for Sustainable Development.
Engaging young people
To overcome the challenges to disarmament, civil society and the younger generation especially will play an essential role. After all, in most wars it’s still the young people who do the fighting and the dying! In some societies military service is still compulsory. We aim at creating an international community of active and dedicated young people who are keen to contribute to a better, safer world, without guns and without armed conflicts.
The IPB firmly believes that this can be achieved by taking action for disarmament, reducing military expenditure and reallocating this money, in order to: promote peace, favour socio-economic development projects, tackle climate change and ensure social welfare as part of a wider global transformation towards a culture of peace.
The young generation is concerned about these issues. After all, it’s their future which is at stake. Youth are the adults of tomorrow and the ones who may be affected in the near future by an over-armed world, the multiplication of conflicts, and by the spread of small arms and other weapons all over the world.
Threats are increasing and weapons technology is evolving rapidly. Increasing the military budget is only fuelling and feeding these threats: the more we spend money on soldiers and military equipment, the more our perception of being at risk increases. And just imagine the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental damage that would be caused by a nuclear war….We need to say `Stop now before it is too late`.
The IPB is convinced that youth plays a key role in advocating disarmament and non proliferation and can take creative initiatives worldwide to raise awareness about these issues. Here is a range of actions which youth can initiate or be involved in:
- Disseminate info through your social media networks (see ‘If I had $ 1.75 trillion, I would #movethemoney! to…’ campaign)
- Alert your friends and relatives, start a discussion
- Demand that the youth should be listened to by their representatives. Start a dialogue with your representatives: get in touch with your local and national political representatives to find out about their policy towards military spending
- Start planning an action to be held on the Global Day on Military Spending (GDAMS) April13, 2015
- Launch a petition at your local-national level aimed at your government and your representative to ask for military reallocation of the military budget
- Advocate for disarmament and non proliferation in your schools, university, local community
- Invite people to discuss and debate on the necessity of advocating for disarmament
- Set up a photo competition ‘What peace means to you’ and make an exhibit
- Participate in our poster design competition for GDAMS and GCOMS’ publicity
- Distribute leaflets; raise awareness in the streets organizing street activities such as flash mob, theatre….
- Follow us Facebook and Twitter
The GCOMS youth programme is organized around 2 main areas:
1. Awareness raising : provide information, reports, resources to youth
2. Strengthening advocacy: empowering youth to contribute to move forward on disarmament issues at local, national, regional and international levels.
We particularly encourage youth involved in the climate change movement to be part and parcel of the GCOMS! Let’s make the link: moving money from the military can help to solve the climate crisis….Join our new campaign and get involved NOW! Nobody is too small or powerless to be effective and to demand a change.