Joint Statement: Reduce Military Spending to deal with the Climate Crisis and COVID-19

The whole world is in an emergency state due to the spread of COVID-19. As of April 26, the global toll of confirmed patients amounts to around 2.88 million, along with 200 thousand deaths. We are going through “the most challenging crisis since the Second World War”.

Today (April 27), we gather here for the Global Days of Action on Military Spending(GDAMS) 2020. We gravely face a shattered “security” for which astronomical military expenditures have been spent but were revealed to be helpless in the reality of a spread of a new virus, COVID-19.

According to the Trends in World Military Expenditure 2019 from the Stockholm International Peace Research(SIPRI) that was released today, Total global military expenditure rose to $1917 billion in 2019 with a 3.6 percent increase from 2018, which is 2.377 quadrillion in KRW. Military expenditure of South Korea is placed at the tenth, a fixed world status for seven years in a row since 2013. The national defense budget that has been rising at an average annual rate of 7.5% after the inauguration of the Moon administration reaches 50.1527 trillion KRW in 2020.

However, high-tech weapons and immense military spending could not solve the COVID-19 crisis, nor did they secure our lives.

It is the time to reconstruct the national policy priorities to be “human security” instead of “military security”. The COVID-19 pandemic warns us of the seriousness of climate crisis.

We request. Let us change the set priorities of “security”, and invest our resources to save people and the Earth rather than to prepare for war.

Find the Statement on the PSPD website here.