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Session at the European Parliament: Wednesday April 25 starting at 11am: Jordi from Centro Delas with Escola de Pau presented their 2 reports analysing the 2015 EU arms exports to countries in conflicts and to countries mired in tension. The COARM chair Caroline Cliff and the Belgian research group GRIP also took part in this exchange of views (reported by Laetitia Sedou – ENAAT). Look at the photo or download it!
“Brussels Prepcomm for Berlin Congress”
GDAMS event – Environment and Armed Conflict – Realization of the Sustainable
Development Goals – Refugees and Migrants.
Paul Lansu at Pax Christi International: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Lane at QCEA: email@example.com
Agir Pour la Paix
(Belgium) posted 1500 letters from a pseudo-government agency called
‘Department of National Expenditure’. In the letter, the ‘agency’
demanded money for the purchase of fighter planes from the people of
Brussels. The activists then interviewed the recipients of the letter
asking whether they would give to the ‘agency’s’ appeal and most of them
answered ‘no’ and would prefer to spend money on social costs instead.
Pour la Journée Mondiale d’Action sur les Dépenses Militaires, Agir pour la Paix a réalisé cette vidéo d’action contre le remplacement des F16 belges. L’association a posté à Bruxelles 1500 fausses lettres de la Défense Nationale, ici rebaptisée la « Dépense Nationale ».
Read this article (French)
Pax Christi – Vlaanderen issued a statement of support for GDAMS (Flemish).
Peace Action, Peace non-profit organization , Pax Christi Flanders , Intal , CNAPD and Agir pour la Paix join the action on the Global Day of Action on Military Spending.
The question of 6 billion: Buy new fighter or not?
The next government must decide whether the country will buy new combat aircraft or not. The current F-16s have between 2023 and 2028, after all, their maximum number of flight hours on the meter. Then they are taken out of circulation. It depends on the Defence Minister De Crem if they buy forty Joint Strike Fighters (F 35). That will cost a whopping 6 billion, a towering amount in a period of general savings and economic crisis.
The peace movements find purchasing expensive fighter irresponsible. It is an investment in warfare and military interventions worldwide. Military interventions in Afghanistan caused mainly disruption and destruction. Belgium would therefore be better to invest in constructive alternatives.
Where do we get 6 billion ?
They invited party spokespersons and passers-by to participate in ” the question of 6 billion ” : Belgium must buy new fighter, yes or no ? Defense itself does not have the necessary money so it must come from elsewhere. Participants could choose from the federal budget of 6 billion to : Justice , Interior, Social Security, Health, Environment , Pensions Development.
Agir pour la Paix realised a video (hidden camera) about military spending. They dressed up as soldiers and ask people to give them money to buy new weapons.
Action pour la paix/Bureau européen de l’objection de conscience/Coordination Nationale d’Action pour la Paix et la Démocratie/Comité de surveillance OTAN/Mouvement Chrétien pour la Paix/Mouvement international de la Réconciliation-Internationale des Résistantes/Pax Christi Wallonie Bruxelles
Belgian peace activists demonstrated in front of the famous Manneken Pis to mark GDAMS 2.0 (slogan: “Better naked than nuked”).
Distribution of flyers to raise awareness on world and Belgian military spending and to ask for a reduction in defense budget.
Mouvement Chrétien pour la Paix
The SIPRI report was released on GDAMS at the European Parliament as activists and press asked questions.