Global Days Against Military Spending 10th April – 9th May 2020
The current figures from SIPRI put global military spending at $1.9 trillion in 2019, the largest annual increase in a decade. equivalent to 2.2 per cent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) or $249 per person. Here you can find a full record of military spending since 1988.
The UK ranked eighth, spending £45 billion in 2018/2019. During this time of Covid-19 we have all become more aware of the political decisions which have shaped where public money is, and is not, spent.
More from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Yearbook on military spending.
British government 2020 Budget showing £55 billion now earmarked for ‘defence’: full details here
The UK ranks 2nd the in the SIPRI global arms sales list, with 9.6% of the global share.
For too long we have lived with the myth that high military spending maintains peace, creates jobs and combats terrorism. This myth is promoted by governments and by multinational arms companies who benefit from the global arms trade politically and economically. It prevents the money being spent on tackling real challenges such as relieving poverty, improving health, and protecting the environment.
We come together, as people concerned with peace, social justice, healthcare and environmental justice, to call for a new approach to our common security that will tackle the real problems of our world; an approach which addresses the root causes of conflict, including environmental problems, healthcare, inequality and access to resources. Military responses, with their real and hidden costs, do not help; they threaten human security. Take a look at Rethinking Security for more on this.
We call for:
- Military spending to be shifted towards health, social and environmental needs. These needs should take priority over aircraft carriers, long range strike aircraft, armed drones, weapons exports and weapons of mass destruction.
- No replacement of the UK’s nuclear weapons system, Trident. Redirecting its cost alone could enable appropriate funding for public services in the UK, such as health and education.
- A new thinking involving civil society and government to create a clear programme of action for spending, research and investment to build sustainable, common security at national and international levels.
- The huge subsidy to the arms industry to be redirected towards renewable energy and energy saving measures, allowing diversification and conversion of the arms industry, and enabling our public resources to tackle a huge cause of human insecurity, climate change.
- Grassroots groups, networks, and organisations to work together across their ‘issue’ boundaries, to share experiences and expertise that will inspire others to work for a common security.