This year’s IPB’s GDAMS Geneva seminar, held on 6 April, served also as a prepcomm for the Berlin Congress. The programme included 4 presentations, mainly on humanitarian financing and civil-military coordination, and was followed by a short IPB film about alternatives to violence in dealing with terrorism. The discussion raised important issues about the role of the military and its financing. See full report here.
Geneva, 5 April 2016
Today sees the start of the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (April 5 – 18), when the International Peace Bureau and its partners around the world focus on the excessive military spending of the world’s governments. This morning the latest global military spending statistics (for the year 2015) were released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
According to the figures, world military expenditure last year reached $1,676 billion (USD), an increase of 1 per cent in real terms from 2014. The increase reflects continuing growth in Asia and Oceania, Central and Eastern Europe, and some Middle Eastern states; and a decline in spending in Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
The United States remained by far the world’s biggest spender in 2015, despite its expenditure falling by 2.4 per cent to $596 billion. Among the other top spenders, China’s expenditure rose by 7.4 per cent to $215 billion, Saudi Arabia’s grew by 5.7 per cent to $87.2 billion – making it the world’s third largest spender – and Russia’s increased by 7.5 per cent to $66.4 billion.
MILITARY COSTS v. HUMANITARIAN NEEDS
For obvious reasons, several news outlets have dubbed 2015 – and no doubt 2016 also ‐ as the Year of the Refugee. In May 2015 the UN Secretary‐General established the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, in preparation for the Global Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul in May. The Panel analysed both needs and resources in this area and assessed the gap as around $15 billion:
The world spends today around US$ 25 billion to provide life‐saving assistance to 125 million people devastated by wars and natural disasters. Despite the generosity of many donors, the gap between the resources needed for humanitarian action and the available resources is increasing…
More recently OCHA assessed the overall needs as $20.1 billion. At the same time the world’s governments spent $1776 billion on the military sector. It is unfortunate that when the Panel considers that “the deficiency in global aid could be solved by implementing new policies designed to tap into creative sources of funding” it does not point to the elephant in the room.
IPB is launching a global Thunderclap campaign – namely Money for War … or Human Needs?– about the excessive amounts spent by governments on the military. Let’s Move the Money! We have purposely chosen to run this campaign 2 weeks before the official starting date of GDAMS (05 April) in order to reach as many people as possible.
We need your help if we are going to succeed. You can start by supporting it on Thunderclap by using this link http://thndr.me/ZfM7Jf
It is simple: click on the link, support with your facebook account and/or twitter account and submit! It takes only a few seconds.
Again, your support is very much needed and appreciated, so thank you in advance! Please tell your friends.
A seminar on the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS)
A half-day IPB seminar on the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) will be held in Geneva on April 6th. This will also serve as the Geneva ‘Prepcomm’ for the Berlin congress ‘Disarm! For a Climate of Peace’ (Sept 30 – Oct 3). We hope you are able to join us. If so, please let us know! Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please find HERE the FULL PROGRAMME of the seminar.