GDAMS Strategy Proposals

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Global Day of Action on Military Spending

Strategy: Initial proposals

The following ideas are put forward as a first discussion paper to guide our work in the months ahead.

On April 12, 2011, IPB and IPS co-organized the first-ever Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Participants in more than 35 countries held around 100 events. We accomplished our major goal of making visible the issue of military spending. Our GDAMS events generated considerable media coverage with stories in the Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, Russia Today Television, Telesur, Voice of America, and many national and local outlets. We also accomplished our secondary goal of creating a global network of organizations and individuals committed to working on the reduction of military spending worldwide. Finally, we forged an important partnership with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute that we plan to continue in future years.

Between now and our next Global Day in 2012, we propose to work on the local, national, regional, and international levels to translate this media attention and networking power into a more focused policy impact.

At the international level, we propose to convene our network to discuss the most likely mechanisms that can yield real reductions in military expenditures. These include the Arms Trade Treaty currently under discussion at the UN, the proposed ‘Lula Tax’ on arms transfers, and the ‘Arms Down’ proposal to tie a 10% reduction in military spending to the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals. We will also discuss regional initiatives like the Pacific Freeze, which links a freeze in military spending to the Six Party Talks in Northeast Asia. We propose to hold a series of virtual discussions between now and September that culminate in a face-to-face meeting or meetings in the United States and/or Europe.

At the national level, we propose to collect the examples of what has worked (or appears promising) in reducing military expenditures on a country-by-country basis. This will be an ongoing collection of case studies with an emphasis on analysis of the political context, and practical lessons that can be applied more generally. We propose to use our existing website – demilitarize.org – as a clearing house for these short case studies. We already have very good working relations with our partners around the world, who can contribute this information.

We will also use these case studies to form the basis of our first annual report, for 2012, on worldwide efforts to cut military spending. This report will also include a short history of efforts to reduce military spending. We plan to issue this report to coincide with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s annual report on global military expenditures.

Finally, at the local level, we propose to provide a revised organizers’ packet to help local communities work on the issue of global military spending throughout the year, leading up to GDAMS 2012.

One important aspect of the work over the coming months is outreach to the most important sectors (for example: parliaments, development and social justice movements, religious bodies, labor, youth, women, and green movements) and dialogue with government and non-government representatives of all types. We would be interested to hear from organizations who feel ready to undertake this type of outreach and dialogue work.

IPB is currently undertaking a new educational project around the Disarmament for Development theme, based on an on-line learning system. If you are interested, please contact IPB secretariat. IPS will coordinate an advocacy report based on case studies. If you are interested in contributing, contact [email protected]

May 11, 2011

Global Day of Action on Military Spending: http://demilitarize.org

International Peace Bureau: http://www.ipb.org

Institute for Policy Studies: http://www.ips-dc.org/