26/04/2021 | |

April 26 PR: over 190 organizations urge governments to reduce military spending.

PRESS RELEASE – Over 190 Civil Society Organizations from 33 different countries join the GDAMS Appeal and demand that governments around the world drastically reduce their military expenditures, which reached almost 2 trillion $ in 2020, a 2.6% increase over the previous year.

  • World military expenditure amounted to $1981 billion in 2020, a 2.6% increase over the previous year.
  • In 2020, the biggest spenders were the US, China, India, Russia, the UK and Saudi Arabia. Except for Saudi Arabia, they all increased their expenditure over 2019.
  • Military expenditure by the 29 NATO members reached $1103 billion, amounting to 56% of the total military spending in the world. This is an increase of 13.6% compared to 2019.

On Monday, April 26th, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published the new figures for global military spending in 2020. The world spent $1.98 trillion on the military during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, a 2.6% increase over the previous year and the highest figure since the end of the Cold War.

The five biggest spenders in 2020 were the United States, China, India, Russia and the United Kingdom, which together accounted for 62 per cent of world military spending. U.S. military expenditure grew by 4.4 per cent in 2020, to $778 billion. China (1.9 per cent), India (2.1 per cent), Russia (2.5 per cent) and the UK (2.9 percent) all increased their military spending in 2020.

Almost all regions in the world increased their military spending, however, the U.S. remained by far the largest spender in the world, accounting for 39% of global military spending in 2020.

The aggregated military expenditures of NATO member states reached $1103 billion, which accounts for 56% of the world’s total. Nearly all members of the alliance saw their military burden rise in 2020. As a result, 12 NATO members spent 2 per cent or more of their GDP on their militaries, the Alliance’s guideline spending target, compared with 9 members in 2019. France, for example, the 8th biggest spender globally, passed the 2 per cent threshold for the first time since 2009. NATO has increased its military expenditure of 13.6% over the previous year.
The aggregated spending of EU member states amounts to 233 billion, 12% of the world’s total spending, and the 3rd highest after the U.S. and China.

To protest this profoundly misguided budget priorities, and in the context of the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS), more than 190 civil society organizations from over 30 different countries have come together to urge governments to drastically reduce their military expenditure and make human security-oriented sectors, such as health and the environment, the priority of public policies and budgets. The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis have generated a global consciousness on the need to invest in these sectors, however, the latest figures of military expenditure go in the opposite direction.


The world spent $1.98 trillion on the military in 2020[1], a 2.6% increase over the previous year and the highest figure since the end of the Cold War. Our governments’ ever-growing military capacities, in the name of national security, have proved themselves completely useless to defend people from the COVID-19 pandemic, nor can they keep us safe in the face of other global emergencies such as climate change. In addition, as the victims of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere can testify, militarism makes conflicts worse rather than resolving them.

Current levels of military spending not only fail to provide true security, but they actually stand in the way of just and comprehensive solutions to the problems urgently demanding our attention. Indeed, the military power our rulers are so committed to -including new great power Cold Wars – helps create and sustain the very emergencies, tensions and injustice that they claim they are protecting their populations against.

We therefore demand that governments across the globe drastically reduce their military expenditures, especially those accounting for the largest shares of the world’s total spending, and reallocate the freed-up resources to human and common security-oriented sectors, notably for confronting the coronavirus pandemic and the eco-social collapse we are now facing.

Now is the time for a reset of our priorities as societies, and a new defense and security paradigm that puts human and environmental needs in the center of policies and budgets.

We need to defund the military if we are to defend people and the planet.

The list of Organisations endorsing this appeal is the following:

For further endorsements for individuals and organizations please fill in this form.
This Appeal is also available in Spanish, French, Catalan, Italian, and Korean.

Abingdon Peace Group (GB)

Accademia Apuana della Pace (IT)

Acción Colectiva de Objetores y Objetoras de Conciencia (CO)



Actions for development and empowerment (CM)

Acción Directa No Violenta (ES)

Alternatives to Violence (AU)

Alianza Iberoamericana por la Paz (Intl)

Alianza por la Solidaridad- ActionAid (ES)

Alternativa Antimilitarista.Moc (ES)

American Friends Service Committee (US)

Aotearoa New Zealand Campaign on Military Spending (NZ)


Arab Human Security Network (KW)

Asociación de Desarrollo Solidario “Yachaywasi de Tablada” (PE)

Asociación Española de Investigación para la Paz (AIPAZ) (ES)

Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (CY)

AssoPacePalestina.org (IT)

Auckland Peace Action (NZ)

Australia Solidarity with Latin America (AU)

Bake Ekintza (ES)

Beati i costruttori di pace (Blessed Are the Peacemakers) (IT) 

Brisbane Combined Union’s Choir (AU)

Campaign Against the Arms Trade – CAAT (UK)

Campaign for International Cooperation and Disarmament (AU)

Campaign for Peace Disarmament and Common Security (US)

Campaigns and Policy Lead, Medact (GB)

Campaña No soy arma de Guerra Nariño (CO)

Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (CA)

Cátedra UNESCO de Filosofía para la Paz (Universitat Jaume I) (ES)

Cátedra UNESCO de Resolución de Conflictos (Universidad de Córdoba) (ES)


Centre Delàs d’Estudis per la Pau (ES)

Centro di Documentazione del Manifesto Pacifista Internazionale-International Peace Poster Documentation Center (IT)



Chair of Friends for Peace Building and Conflict Prevention (CA)

Chesterfield CND (GB)

Cittadinanza attiva (IT)


Colectivo de acompañamiento psicosocial SanAcción (CO)

Colectivo de artivistas Co-inspirAndo (CO)

Conscience Canada (CA)

Convergencia de Saberes y Acción Territorial (CO)

Coordinadora d’ONGD i aMS de Lleida (ES)

Corruption Tracker Project (GB)

Demospaz (ES)

Desarma Madrid (ES)

Ecologistas en Acción (ES)

Ekklesia (GB)

El Movimiento de Educadores por la Paz de Uruguay (UR)

Envirobusiness International (AU)

Equality & Civil Rights Network (GB)

Escola de Cultura de Pau (ES)

Escuelas de Paz (CO)

European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT) (Intl)

Extinction Rebellion Barcelona (ES)

Foro de Asociaciones de Educación en Derechos Humanos y por la Paz (ES)

Friends Peace Teams (AU)


Fundación Cultura de Paz (ES)

FundiPau (ES)


Gernika Gogoratuz (ES)

Global Campaign for Peace Education (US)

Grup Eirene (ES)

Grupo Antimilitarista de Carabanchel (ES)

Grupo de Noviolencia Elaia (ES)

GSsA – Groupe pour une Suisse sans armée (CH)

Hamilton Coalition (CA)

High Peak Green New Deal (GB)

Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition (Toronto) (CA)

Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (AU)

Inter Alia (GR)

International association for peace and development in africa (US)

International No to war – No to NATO network (Intl)

Italian Peace and Disarmament Network (IT)

Just Peace (AU)

Just Peace Queensland (AU)

Joint Churches Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Program (AU)

Justice Coalition (US)

Juventud Rebelde Colombia (CO)

Kenya Pastoralist Journalist Network (KE)

Korea Peace Campaign, Veterans for Peace (US)

Lafede.cat (Catalan Fereation of Global Justice Organizations) (ES)

La Central Única de los trabajadores de Uruguay – PIT/CNT. 2- La Federación (UR)


Le Moteur des Cent Sans (BE)

London Campaign Against Arms Trade (GB)

Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives (US)

Lower Hudson Valley Advocacy Team, FCNL (US)


Massachusetts Peace Action (US)

Methodist Federation for Social Action (US)

Michiana War Tax Refusers (US)

MIR Movimento Internazionale della Riconciliazione (IT)

Mouvement de la Paix (FR)

Movement for Abolition of War (GB)

Movimiento Antimilitarista Colombia (CO)

Movimiento hijos e hijas por la memoria y contra la impunidad (CO)

Mujeres de Negro contra la Guerra – Madrid (ES)

National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (USA) (US)

Nonviolence International (US)

Nonviolence International Canada (CA)

North East Scotland CND (GB)

Norwegian Peace Council (NO)

Nouveaux Droits de l’Homme Cameroun (CA)


Oregon Community of War Tax Resisters (US)

Palestinian BDS National Committee – BNC (Intl)

Partido Manggagawa Women (PH)

Pax Christi International (Int)

Pax Christi Canada (CA)

Pax Christi Italia (IT)

Pax Christi Torino (IT)

Pax Christi Vlaanderen (BE)

+ Peace (US)

Peace & Justice (Scotland) (SC)

Peace Action (INT)

Peace Action (US)

Peace Action Maine (US)

Peace Action New York State (US)

Peace Action of Wisconsin (US)

Peace Boat (JP)

Peace Movement Aotearoa (NZ)

Peace Union of Finland (FIN)

Peace Women Partners (PH)

Peace Wave Philippines (PH)


People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) (KR)

Percorsi di pace (IT)

Plataforma por la Desobediencia Civil (ES)

Punto pace Pax Christi Catania, Italy (IT)

Ramstein Kampagne  (GE)

Red Antimilitarista de América Latina y el Caribe (RAMALC) (Intl)


Rete Italiana per il Disarmo (IT)

Reti di pace (IT)

Rohi Foundation (US)

Santiago City Kiteflying Group

Servei Civil Internacional de Catalunya – SCI (ES)

School Sisters of Notre Dame, Central Pacific Province (US)

Scientists for Global Responsibility (GB)

Stop Fuelling War (FR)

STOP the War Coalition Philippines (PH)

SM Zone One Tondo Organization (PH)

Suds (ES)

Suomen rauhanpuolustajat ry (FIN)

The Disarmament and Security Centre NZ)

The Foundation for Justice and Development Initiatives (FJDI) (UG)

The Global Sunrise Project (CA)

The Irish Peace and Neutrality Alliance (IR)

The Maitriyana Buddhist Community (IND)

The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth – NNOMY (US)

The Peace center in Aarhus  (DK)

The Peace Party – Non-violence, Justice, Environment (GB)

The Peace-movement of Esbjerg (DK)

Tipping Point North South (GB)

Toronto Association for Peace & Solidarity (CA)

United for Peace and Justice (US)

Uniting for Peace (GB)

Uruguaya del Magisterio (Trabajadores de Educación Primaria (FUM/TEP) (UR)

USTEA Ecolo. Cádiz  (ES)


Veterans For Peace (US)

Wage Peace (AU)

Walpole Peace and Justice Group (US)

War Resisters International (Intl)

War Resisters League (US)

Whatcom Peace & Justice Center (US)

WILPF Australia Section (AUS)

WILPF – Italia cc (IT)

WILPF España – Liga Internacional de Mujeres por la Paz y la Libertad (ES)

Women Against Nuclear Power (FIN)

Women for Peace and Ecology (GE)

Women’s Action for New Directions (US)

Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom – NZ (NZ)

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (US)

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – Canada (CA)

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom GB (GB)

World BEYOND War (Intl)

World Youth Peace Organization (NG)

Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (GB)

Yugo sport & art association  (RS)

ZOTO Youth (PH)

Zukunftskonvent Germany (GE)

See other media work from our GCOMS partners in Korea, UK, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Germany and Colombia

[1] This figure has been updated with the most recent data available at SIPRI.