IPB Statement on the Release of SIPRI’s Military Expenditure Data for 2020
The amount of military spending in the world is a political, social, ecological, economical and ethical scandal. It reveals the continued misplaced priorities of global leaders.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, environmental emergency, and growing inequality, military spending increased by 2.6%, from US$ 1.917 trillion in 2019 to $ 1.981 trillion – just shy of 2 trillion in 2020.
This trend reveals the true priorities of governments around the world, who chose to prioritize weapons and war over the health and safety of their own populations suffering from the coronavirus, who chose confrontation over cooperation to overcome global crises, and who continue to ignore the calls of their constituents for a new normal based in peace and environmental and social justice.
The NATO alliance alone makes up 56% of all global military spending, the USA 37%.
If governments cannot reduce military spending during the height of a global pandemic, we cannot expect them to do so on their own. We need to strengthen our global call for a military spending reduction of 10 percent, and bring new voices into the conversation to pressure governments to make the changes that are necessary. These are the goals and priorities of the Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS) and we are working hard every year to amplify the voices that join the campaign.
Only by reducing military spending can we address the array of crises that we faced in 2020 and still face in 2021 and beyond: the climate catastrophe, the Covid-19 virus and fair vaccination distribution, global inequality and inequity, and threats to democracy, human rights, and worker’s rights.
We will use the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) to make public the injustice of nearly 2 trillion dollars of spending on killing and destruction and re-imagine the alternatives.
Our efforts will culminate in the Second IPB World Peace Congress this October 15-17 in Barcelona, where we will gather both in-person and virtually to make our voices heard, (re)imagine our world, and take action for peace and justice.