According to updated 2017 military spending data, published today by SIPRI, world military expenditure has increased in 2017 by 1.1% in real terms, and is now estimated at roughly $ 1739 billion. The top 10 spenders in 2017 according to SIPRI were the USA, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, UK, Japan, Germany and South Korea. This reflects a constant increase over the last five consecutive years. We must stop this, by growing a global movement against military spending!
War business is based on arms trade and on the pursuit of power, dominance, and masculinity structures that result in civilian deaths, also degrading conflicts, preying on the planet and actively contributing to climate change. Actions to promote global justice and to reduce climate change effects require a reduction on military spending and renovated efforts to use negotiation to solve conflicts. Producing and selling weapons is a very profitable business that kills people, while buying weapons removes money from human-centered goals. From a gender equality perspective, we must fight against war business and arms exports!
There are many reasons to renew, once again and for the 8th consecutive year, our call for a cut in military spending (based upon SIPRI data), so that the world can move closer to a human security commitment that would better serve humanity. We face the danger of a third world war, and big countries are preparing for war with massive armament investments. As we cannot rely on governments and politicians, we are calling people to take the future in their own hands.
Economic and political powers are deeply associated and embedded in the military policies of national states. A small number of influential businessmen have extracted enormous and disproportioned wealth. Corporations have in many ways captured states, militarization being in the kernel of this new scenario. However, focus must be urgently moved from military and private interests to human needs. UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be reached if we do not globally address the fundamental technology injustices that leave people behind. Climate change can only be addressed by reorienting global regulatory perspectives to ethical, human-centred objectives, moving away from security-based discourses. It is necessary and entirely possible to shrink our resource consumption while our increasing our commitments to funding what really matter: human happiness, wellbeing, education, health, and longevity. Military funds must be urgently redirected to human needs!
We are glad to announce that GDAMS 2018 is ending with a very special event today. Coinciding with the publication of 2017 SIPRI data on military spending, simultaneous press conferences presenting the final GDAMS 2018 statement are being held today in differenc cities including Sydney, Tokyo, Berlin, Helsinki and Barcelona. The purpose of these press conferences – which will be lead and attended by outstanding people in the field of peace within each of the respective countries – will be to carry out relevant evaluations of the new data, which show a global increase in military spending for the fifth consecutive year, noting that only a 10% reduction in military spending it would be enough to meet some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.