Nobel laureate wants India to cut military spending

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.

Click here to read the complete article published in Business Standard, India.

War Resisters’ Stories, March 2014: Support our work countering the militarisation of youth

War resisters’ International has published the March 2014 edition of Newsletter titled War Resisters’ stories. It features their new campaign that is launched to crowdfund for the next stage of their work countering the militarisation of youth. The other articles in this edition are

- 14 April: Global Day of Action on Military Spending

- The movement for Druze refusers in Israel

- Insumisión: 25 years of disobedience

- Nonviolent resistance in USA, Belgium, Britain

Click here to read the complete stories.

Join the National Call-In Day –Tuesday, MARCH 25 — to Reduce Nuclear Weapons Spending

The WAND ( Women’s Action for New Directions)  team urges its activists to join the national call-in day to reduce spending on nuclear weapons.

On February 27, companion bills were introduced in the House and Senate that would cut $100 billion in wasteful spending on nuclear weapons over 10 years.  In the Senate, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced S. 2070, the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act and in the House, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced H.R. H.R.4107, the Reduce Expenditures in Nuclear Infrastructure Now (REIN-IN) Act.

On Tuesday, March 25, join activists around the country for a National Call-in Day to reduce wasteful nuclear weapons spending! Call your U.S. Senators and Representative and ask them to co-sponsor these bills!

Your Members of Congress need to know that you won’t tolerate excessive spending on 20th century weapons when human needs continue to go unmet.

On Tuesday, March 25 please call your U.S. Senators and Representative and urge them to support S. 2070 and H.R. 4107!

Responsible cuts to the nuclear weapons budget will enhance the security of our nation.  These cuts will free up money in the budget for more important national priorities.

USA – The Nation says ‘Move the Money Out of the Military’

The Nation Magazine highlights the issue of excessive military spending by the U.S. . They have launched a petition with RootsAction to tell Congress and the president to move the money out of military and urged the people to sign the petition. It indicates that US military spending—across several government departments—is wildly out of control, amounting to roughly half of federal discretionary spending and half of global military spending and the sequester agreement makes only a small reduction in military spending. Currently, 57 percent of discretionary spending goes into the military.

Click here to sign this petition.

Despite a lot of hype about cuts to the military budget, the Pentagon has used war budgets and slush funds to avoid most cuts, while every other government program has faced the axes. The sequester imposes minimal cuts on the military, but members of Congress are maneuvering to replace them with increases. The same is not under consideration for education, environmental protection, foreign aid, or any other non-destructive program.

Click Is the Pentagon Doomed — To Be Flush Forever  to read more on this topic.

Click Sequestration’s Impact on Military Spending, 2013 – 2014 to read more on the research findings behind the article.