15 April 2013, SWITZERLAND Geneva

International Centre, Rue de Varembé, Geneva
Organised by the International Peace Bureau

The presentations and discussion highlighted several issues:

  • The continuing support of the United Nations, both for the Global Day of Action itself, and for the UN’s own transparency instrument, the annual Report on Military Expenditures.
  • Clear evidence from SIPRI’s new data release that the global total for military expenditure (not to be confused with ‘expenditure on armaments’) has dropped, for the first time in real terms since 1998 – even though the absolute dollar figures are slightly higher than the 2011 numbers.
  • Spending has dropped mainly in Western countries, while most of the increases are in Russia, China and other developing states.
  • The importance, from the IPB point of view, of raising the issue of military spending within the ongoing consultations on the UN’s Post-2015 Development Agenda, ie the successor process to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Introductory remarks by Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament

Presentation by Mr. Samuel Perlo-Freeman, Director, SIPRI Military Expenditure project
Based on: Trends in World Military Expenditure 2012 – Fact Sheet

Presentation by Mr. Colin Archer, Secretary-General, International Peace Bureau
Based on: Opportunity Costs: Military Spending and the UN’s Development Agenda

Concluding remarks by Mr. Jarmo Sareva, Director, Geneva Branch, UN Office for Disarmament Affairs