25/11/2020 |

GCOMS at a ‘Leading by Example’ Webinar

Chloé Meulewaeter, GCOMS staff and IPB Council member, participated on a webinar on Peace and Disarmament organised by the ‘Leading by Example’ initiative of the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates and by the Gandhi King Foundation on November 23.

The webinar highlighted key issues for peace and disarmament, as well as presented and discussed campaigns of the peace movement to foster a more peaceful world. Furthermore, possibilities of engagement and personal action in the presented fields were introduced and debated.

Other speakers included: Binalakshmi “Bina” Nepram, an indigenous scholar and a woman human rights defender, and Arielle Denis, former campaign Director for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for Europe, Middle East and Africa, and consultant for the International Peace Bureau (IPB).

Chloé Meulewaeter, drawing from her own PhD research on military spending, presented the general trends in military spending globally, reminding us that “if we counted 1$ for every second, it would take 60.000 years to reach the figure of 2019 global military expenditure”. She also introduced the concept of military economic cycle, which illustrates the process of militarization of a society: from the demand of weapons, to military spending, military production and R&D, financing of weapons, arms trade, use of arms in conflicts, and back to the “need of weapons”.

According to her research, “military expenditure do enhance the probability for a state to participate in armed conflicts”, as it happens with arms imports.

Finally Meulewaeter discussed the opportunity cost of military expenditure and encourage the audience, made up mostly of students and teachers, to join GCOMS and take action for a shift of military spending towards eco-social investment.

“When a few finance war we all lose the opportunity to finance peace”

Dowload the flyer of the event here.