Global Days Against Military Spending et al
(April 9, 2020) — The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has shown the world where humanity’s priorities should lie. This major attack on people’s security across the world shames and discredits global military expenditures and prove them an outrageous waste and loss of opportunities. What the world needs now is to focus all means on vital security threats: healthy living conditions for everyone, which necessarily entails more just, green, peaceful societies.
The Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) 2020 bring attention to the vast opportunity costs of the current levels of military spending, $1.825 trillion a year, almost $5 billion per day, $239 per person. When a minority of the global population decides to finance war preparations, we all lose the opportunity to fund policies that tackle our real security threats.
The military could not and will not stop
Such a crisis can only be addressed by supporting healthcare and other life-sustaining activities, not with military equipment and personnel prepared for war. The fact that military assets are being deployed during this crisis can be profoundly misleading: it doesn’t justify their bloated budgets, nor does it mean that they are solving this crisis. It shows quite the opposite: we need fewer soldiers, jets, tanks and aircraft carriers and more doctors, ambulances and hospitals.
For decades we have been wrong about our priorities, it’s time to (re)consider how military spending has taken a huge amount of public resources to provide a false notion of security that has nothing to do with people’s needs and rights to healthcare, education, and housing, among other essential social services.
It’s time to move the military budget to
Major reductions in military expenditure would free up resources not only to provide universal healthcare, but also to tackle climate and humanitarian emergencies, which also take thousands of lives every year, especially in countries of the Global South, which are suffering the worst consequences of an economic model that has been imposed upon them.
Transferring resources to fund healthcare for all and climate and humanitarian relief would help prevent this from happening again and bail out the most affected communities. These resources could definitively come from the military budget, which has been given preference by decision-makers for decades.
We must ensure that such a major health crisis does not happen again. To do so, we must rethink international politics, reconsider the real threats to our security and provide public civil protection services with the funding they need to properly work. We also have to ensure that this crisis won’t be paid for by the most vulnerable, as has happened many times before. Reallocating defense budgets would help finance a much-needed transition toward more peaceful, just, and sustainable societies and economies.
During GDAMS 2020 (April 10 to May 9), we are rising up together, from Seoul to Toronto and from Sydney to Buenos Aires, to demand major reductions of military spending in order to fund urgent measures to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide human security for everyone.
Take action to move the money from the military to health, join GDAMS 2020!
• Join our online campaign!
• Sign and share the International Peace Bureau’s petition: Invest in Healthcare Instead of Militarization
• Organize a national press conference on April 27. So far we have confirmed Seoul, Berlin, Barcelona, Washington D.C, Buenos Aires, Rosario, Montevideo and Cucutá. You can also prepare a webinar.
• Contact online your local/national representatives/congresspeople and ask them to position themselves and support demilitarization and major reductions of military spending.
Register Now for Online World Conference
International Peace Bureau
We are pleased to announce that registration is open for the Online World Conference 2020 to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Resist & Reverse Climate Change, and for Economic & Social Justice.
An Online World Conference: Abolish Nuclear Weapons; Resist and Reverse the Climate Crisis; For Social and Economic Justice will be April 25, 2020 in place of the in-person conference that has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the context of the suffering and changes being wrought by the pandemic, the two- hour world conference will focus on the continuing urgent need to abolish nuclear weapons and its relationship to stanching the climate emergency and challenging injustices which have left so many people marginalized and vulnerable. Additional sessions of the World Conference and four workshops will be for a healthier time in the future.
To accommodate people across the world the conference will be held at 9 a.m. New York/Boston time (3 p.m. in Europe, 10 p.m. in East Asia) with simultaneous interpretation to Japanese. The conference will be held in concentric circles with up to 500 people in the conference itself and simultaneous live streaming so everyone can join in by listening in. The conference will also be recorded and posted and made available on the world conference2020.org and co-sponsors sites for continuing availability.
Conference organizers understand the urgent priority of caring for those who are sick and most in need and are doing what they can in this regard. We are also deeply aware that once this plague has passed, the twin existential threats of nuclear war and the climate catastrophe and the need to address social and economic injustice will be, if anything, greater that before. We are therefore moving to reinforce our movements for the longer-term with this online conference.
Confirmed speakers include: Wada Masako of Japan Confederation of A- & H- Bomb Sufferers Organizations, Dr. Carlos Umaña of IPPNW, Hiroshi Takakusaki of Gensuikyo, Joseph Gerson of AFSC and the Campaign for Peace Disarmament and Common Security, Reiner Braun of the International Peace Bureau, Emad Kiyaei from the Interdisciplinary Global Development Group (Iran), Rev. Lis Theoharis of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, Sharon Burrows of the ITUC, with additional speakers soon to be confirmed.
Initiating organization include: American Friends Service Committee, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK), Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, Gensuikin (Japan Congress against A- & H- Bombs,) Gensuikyo (Japan Council against A- & H- Bombs), IPB — International Peace Bureau International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada, Nihon Hidankyo (Japan Confederation of A- & H- Bomb Sufferers’ Organizations), Peace Action, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung — New York Office, and Western States Legal Foundation. A complete list of co-sponsors can be found at worldconference2020.org.
For more information see worldconference2020.org.
Please note that the number of participants is limited.
Date: Saturday, April 25, 2020 at 9am-11am EDT.
The Conference will be live streamed, recorded and published here.