28/10/2020 | |

‘Health or Weapons’: 60 Spanish Peace and CSOs demand a reorientation of military spending to the Spanish Government.

AIPAZ and its member organizations, together with other Peace and Civil Society organizations demand to the Spanish Government and parliament a reorientation of military spending towards eco-social investment with a gender perspective.

The petition takes into account how the arrival of the global pandemic of Covid-19 has provoked a crisis in several realms (health, economic, social). Within this frame of generalized crisis, the Spanish Government plans to put into place new special plans of weapons systems amounting to 13,356€ million to be developed between 2020 and 2032. These reforms will be included in the next State Budget proposal, within a context of European aids to respond to the emergency caused by the pandemic. Precisely now, “we have witnessed the shortcomings of health and the education systems which were the main victims of the budget cuts after the 2008 crisis”. The statement argues that due to the Covid-19 pandemic “we are experiencing a severe crisis that urges us to mobilize resources to address the deep structural changes needed in this country”, all of it in order to cover people’s basic needs as well as to build a just and sustainable economy.

The petition draws attention on how the pandemic has also aggravated gender inequalities and escalated the levels of sexist violence all over the globe. “Moreover, it has also shown the deficiencies of the system to face these violences and evinced a global care crisis”. Furthermore, this health emergency has also laid bare the inequalities of the current migration policy and the Spanish Aliens Act, which has left a considerable sector of the population without full citizenship under great vulnerability, lack of protection and in situations of exploitation.

“Huge resources spent on the military in Spain, which nowadays amounts to more than 20.000 million €, are unnecessary. In the current security context is the moment to review the defense model. This involves understanding that security and defense are beyond military capabilities and therefore focusing efforts towards ODS and the 2030 Agenda”. Moreover, the statement follows, “the current pandemic has again shown that global challenges cannot be dealt at a national level; they require frames of understanding based on international solidarity and global justice principles”. The covid-19 pandemic can be an opportunity to focus security policies into fulfilling people’s needs. Therefore, AIPAZ and all signatories request the Spanish government to take the necessary measures and carry out a budgetary reorientation to adequate it to the current crisis, demanding as well a grinding halt to all on-going and planned weapons systems programs, wich will cost more than 13,000 million € from 2020 to 2032. 

Specifically, AIPAZ demands a steady increase in public investment to guarantee social rights through public services, in order to:

1.     Palliate the deficiencies of the health system at a national, autonomic and local level, increasing health personnel, resources and research.

2.     Improve education at all levels, contributing to the reduction of high rates of academic failure and school dropouts as well as to closing the digital gap.

3.     Achieve the decentralization of social services that are closer to citizenship, guaranteeing the implementation of the Dependency Law and creating a public system of caregiving.

4.     Recognize the specific impact of the pandemic from a gender perspective and developing policies that guarantee women’s rights in front of the multiple violences they suffer.

5.     Boost and guarantee citizenship rights of all population by means of passing an urgent regularization of migrant people living in the Spanish state, also giving resources to human rights-based migration and asylum policies.

6.     Support all working people, self-employed, food production, proximity trade and those productive sectors that are the most affected by the pandemic, ensuring decent working conditions.

7.     Foster human and economic resources for the industrial restructuring of the national armament industry into civil productive sectors of national and European interest.

8.     Increase human and economic research resources as well as effectively start national and international projects to carry out the ecological transition in order to achieve a structural transformation into renewable energies and in favor of retrieving ecosystems, all from a climate justice perspective.

Download the full statement in Spanish and Catalan.