ACTION'S AGENDA



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23 July @ 1:56 pm

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Better World Info expressed support for GDAMS 2024

18 April

On its website, Better World Info shared GDAMS’ statement as well as ressources offered by GCOMS and ways to further support the campaign.

Organised by the Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS) in collaboration with the International Peace Bureau (IPB), the Global Days of Action event has been held annually across the world since 2011. Coinciding with the release of the annual SIPRI Report on global military spending, the event aims to inspire a global discussion about the necessity to reallocate military expenditures to vital social needs, environmental protection, and peace initiatives.

Please share this unique GDAMS resource via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Escalating global militarisation means we are witnessing the highest number of conflicts since 1945 – the end of WWII. Currently, 2 billion people are living in areas experiencing violent conflict – the equivalent of one quarter of the human population.

The Ukraine War and the Gaza War continue to dangerously escalate as they are fuelled by weapons exports and military aid from Western nations. Conveniently ignored by the mainstream media, conflict regions in the Global South such as Yemen, Sudan, Syria, the DRC, Somalia, and Myanmar are embroiled in violence – in many cases for decades.

In 2021, the world military budget blew past the $2 trillion mark for the first time ever. In 2022, the defence expenditure for NATO members was approximately $1.2 trillion – more than half of all global military spending! According to SIPRI, global military spending has increased by 19 percent between 2013 and 2022.

Civilians are always the losers, either as victims of war or as tax payers in countries with high military burdens. Humanitarian disasters are a direct consequence of a militaristic approach to conflict resolution. Military spending not only fuels wars, it also takes away resources that could be devoted to addressing climate crisis, investing in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the promotion of peace, diplomacy, nonviolent solutions, and disarmament.

Bar graph showing the increase in military spending from 2021 to 2022 and how that increase could have been used to comptely fund  the money needed for climate finance

GDAMS 2023

Militaries are also one of the world’s biggest consumers of fuel contributing 5.5 percent of all global CO2 emissions. Pollution from the U.S. military is so large that if it were a nation, it would be the 47th largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Fittingly, the 2024 GDAMS theme is ‘War Costs us the Earth’.

Other events that coincide with the GDAMS campaign include Earth Day, Europe Day which celebrates peace and unity in Europe, International Workers’ Day, and the C7 Summit organised by international civil society to confront the G7 on issues such as sustainability, peace, and social justice.

Inforgraphic on how much profit the 10 largest arms companies made in 2022

GDAMS 2023

The Global Arms Trade – The Business of Death

A huge barrier to working towards disarmament is the highly profitable international arms trade. The global value of weapons production, investment in high-tech weapons manufacturing, and the sale and transfer of this equipment is worth a staggering $112 billion. With 12 billion bullets produced every year, that is enough to kill everyone in the world!

War is in the best interests of arms dealers and manufacturers. More conflict = more money!

The military-industrial complex actively drives increased military spending as the mutually beneficial relationship between politicians, defence contractors, and the military becomes increasingly entangled.

In 2020, Lockheed Martin received $75 billion in contracts from the Pentagon – more than one and a half times the annual budget for International Development. These companies take advantage of wartime conditions through lobbying, overcharging, and fraudulent activities.

Developed countries dominate the arms trade and are the primary manufacturers and exporters of arms. These countries therefore have major influence on international relations, security, and stability. They also bear significant responsibility for regulation of the arms trade, upholding ethical standards, and shouldering accountability for the flooding of weapons into conflict regions and fragile states.

The murky world of arms sales means that despite international agreements such as the Arms Trade Treaty, countries are able to break even their own laws on arms exports. The current control of arms sales is so lax that it is easier to trade AK47’s than it is to trade bananas.

The ongoing Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal began in November 2023 and is aiming to hold U.S. weapons manufacturers to account. They are knowingly producing, selling, and reaping enormous profits from an industry which is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands in armed conflicts around the world.

A bar graph displaying the world's largest arms-producing companies in 2021

Statista | CC BY-ND 4.0

How can you Get Involved in GDAMS?

  • Join activities prepared by peace organisations near you

  • April 22 is the main day of action. Using new military spending data released by SIPRI, GCOMS will launch a Social Media Storm which you can help by sharing far and wide

  • Write to representatives in your country responsible for defence budgets

  • Join the GCOMS team as an individual campaigner or organisation

  • Share Better World Info’s platform for peace and GDAMS with your peers

  • Use GCOMS campaigning ideas for further inspiration

Grey poster highlighting the difference between global military spending and the UN peacekeeping budget. There is a large picture of a white elephant and the poster says 'Elephant in the room'

Flickr | allispossible.org.uk

Disarmament Now to Save People and the Planet!

Together, we must push for global security which places peace, trust-building, cooperation, and solidarity at its core. Armed conflict must always be the absolute last option.

Strengthening and greater regulation of the UN Arms Trade Treaty would go a long way to ensure that weapons do not end up in the wrong hands. The outrageous profits of weapons contractors must be reined in, as well as prioritising transparency and accountability of the arms trade.

The arms race is a self-defeating feedback loop based on endless proliferation in the name of ‘defence’. A peace-first approach would lower military burdens and provide the best opportunity for a sustainable and conflict-free world.

A global reduction of just 2 percent in military spending would save humanity $1 trillion in just five years (Scientific American). NB: They probably meant 10%.

89.3 million people are currently forcibly displaced as a direct result of conflict, violence or rights violations. The hunt for greed, power, corruption, and political gain can never justify the human cost of war. No war is justifiable.

Now is the time to demand an end to spiralling military budgets and untold suffering. Will you join the 2024 GDAMS campaign?

Please share this unique GDAMS resource via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Author: Rachael Mellor, 18.04.24 licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0

For further reading on the GDAMS campaign see below  ⬇️

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