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Comment on SDG Goal 16 : militarism must be addressed PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow
Thursday, 13 August 2015 08:03

By Joan Russow

Global Compliance research Project

 

 

 

Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

 

While the Goal 16 addresses important issues related to peace; it does not go far enough to seriously address militarism  and the need to redefine what “true security- common security”

 

Here are proposed additions

16.11 to Fulfill commitments to reallocate the military budget

16.12 to Prevent war and conflict and prohibit nuclear weapons

16.13 to Redefine what constitutes true security- common security

16.14 to Provide Peace keepers after a Peace treaty has been agreed to and they should not have the power to engage in offensive operatations

 

 

16.11

FULFILL COMMITMENTS TO REALLOCATE MILITARY EXPENSES

 

At the 70th anniversary of the United Nations the state leaders must finally fulfill years of commitments to reallocate the military budget, and cancel the long standing crippling third world debt.

Throughout the years, through international agreements, member states of the United Nations have recognized that the military budget has been a waste and misuse of resources. Currently the Global Community is now spending 1.7 trillion per year on the military budget at a time when many basic and fundamental rights have not been fulfilled.

Throughout the years, through international agreements, member states of the United Nations have recognized that the military budget has been a waste and misuse of resources. Unfortunately, institutional memory is either short or member states ignore precedents.
 

a.    In 1976 at Habitat 1, member states of the United Nations affirmed the following in relation to the military budget:

"The waste and misuse of resources in war and armaments should be prevented. All countries should make a firm commitment to promote general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control, in particular in the field of nuclear disarmament. Part of the resources thus released should be utilized so as to achieve a better quality of life for humanity and particularly the peoples of developing countries" (II, 12 Habitat 1).

b. In 1981, in the General Assembly resolution entitled Resolution on the reduction of the military budget, the member states

(i) reaffirmed "the urgent need to reduce the military budget, and agreed to freeze and reduce the military budget";

(ii) recognised that "the military budget constitutes a heavy burden for the economies of all nations, and has extremely harmful consequences on international peace and security";

(iii) reiterated the appeal "to all States, in particular the most heavily armed States, pending the conclusion of agreements on the reduction of military expenditures, to exercise self-restraint in their military expenditures with a view to reallocating the funds thus saved to economic and social development, particularly for the benefit of developing countries" (Preamble B, UN Resolution 36/82 1981, Reduction of Military Budgets, 1981).



c. These appeals were further reinforced in a 1983 General Assembly Resolution on the Relationship between Disarmament and Development that curbing the arms build-up would make it possible to release additional resources for use in economic and social development, particularly for the benefit of the developing countries." Also in the 1993 resolution, member states considered that "the magnitude of military expenditures is now such that their various implications can no longer be ignored in the efforts pursued in the international community to secure the recovery of the world economy and the establishment of a new international economic order."

   

 

                  Reaffirming that there is a close relationship between disarmament and

                  development and that progress in the field of disarmament would considerably

                  promote progress in the field of development and that resources released

                   through disarmament measures should be devoted to the economic and social

                  development and well-being of all peoples and, in particular, those of the

                    developing countries, (1986, Declaration on the Right to Development)

 


d. Also in 1992, all member states recognized that "Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development" (Rio Declarations. Principle 24, UNCED, 1992), and in Chapter 33, of Agenda 21, member states of the United Nations made a commitment to the "the reallocation of resources presently committed to military purposes" (33.18e)

e. In 1994, in adopting the statement from the International Conference on Population and Development, the member states of the United Nations concurred that the attainment of ?quantitative and qualitative goals of the present Programme of Action clearly require additional resources, some of which could become available from a reordering of priorities at the individual, national and international levels. However, none of the actions required nor all of them combined is expensive in the context of either current global development or military expenditures." (Article 1.19)

 

In 1995, in Commitment  9 from the World Summit on Social Development

Commitment  9 from the World Summit on Social Development

Undertake to explore new ways of generating new public and private financial resources, inter alia, through the appropriate reduction of excessive military expenditures, including global military expenditures and the arms trade, and investments for arms production and acquisition, taking into consideration national security requirements, so as to allow possible allocation of additional funds for social and economic development

 

(g)Again, in 1995, member states of the United Nations reconfirmed these commitments by adopting the Platform of Action at the UN conference on Women, Equality, Development and Peace. In the Platform of Action, States have made a commitment

 to maintain peace and security at the global, regional and local levels, together with the prevention of policies of aggression ... and the resolution of armed conflict? (Art. 14) and to reduce "...military expenditures" (Art. 15), states have also made a commitment to the "prevention and resolution of conflicts? (Art.15) and to increase and hasten, ... the conversion of military resources and related industries to development and peaceful purposes" (145a).



g. In the 1984 General Assembly Resolution entitled the Right of Peoples to Peace, there were "Appeals to all States and international organizations to do their utmost to assist in implementing the right of peoples to peace through the adoption of ...measures at both the national and the international level." (4. Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace approved by General Assembly resolution 39/11 of 12 November 1984)

It is time for the member states of the United Nations to give substance to the years of commitment to substantially reduce the military budget.

Currently the Global Community is now spending 1.7 trillion per year on the military budget at a time when many basic and fundamental rights have not been fulfilled: the right to affordable and safe housing; the right to unadulterated food (pesticide-free and genetically engineered-free food); the right to safe drinking water; the right to a safe environment; the right to universally accessible, not for profit health care; and the right to free and accessible education.

 

At the 70th Anniversary of Nations, the state leaders  must finally fulfill years of commitments to reallocate the military budget, and cancel the long standing crippling third world debt.

To demilitarize the economy by reallocating resources presently committed to military purposes to provide for the needs of citizens to pass on the peace dividend to the developing countries as undertaken through numerous UN Conference Action Plans and UN General Assembly Resolutions and Declarations.

 

16.12 PREVENT WAR AND CONFLICT AND ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS

 

a. Delegitimize war- Given the social, environmental, health, human rights, economic consequences of war, under no conditions or circumstance is war legal or just.

 

b. End any attempt to undermine the international resolve to prevent the scourge of war; this would include not engaging in intimidation, in cajoling or in offering economic incentives in exchange for support, at the UN Security Council, for military interventions.

 

c. End the practice of invoking Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations rather than invoking Chapter VI - the peaceful resolutions of disputes – and refusing  to be judged by the International Court of Justice.

 

d. End the misconstruing of Article 51 (self-defence) of the Charter of the United Nations to justify premeditated non-provoked military aggression, or to use various such pretexts for invading other sovereign states.

 

e. End  the guises for military intervention "human security" (Iraq 1991), "Humanitarian intervention" (Kosovo, 1999), " “self-defence” (Afghanistan 2001), "Pre-emptive/ preventive" attack (Iraq, 2003) "Responsibility to Protect  (Haiti, 2004, Libya, 2011) or "will to intervene" (Mali, 2013)  

 

f. End the practice of mollifying public opposition to war  by couching aggressive acts in euphemistic "operations" such as "Operation Just Cause", "Operation Iraqi Freedom", "Operation Enduring Freedom

 

g. Stop ignoring the commitment to Reallocate military spending as agreed to under Chapter 33 16e  of Agenda 21, UNCED and under many previous commitment under UNGA resolutions and Declarations

 

h. Abandon the guise of the pre-emptive/preventive attack policy that has resulted in aggressive attacks on sovereign states and that has been in violation of the Article 2 of United Nations and international law as being the 'supreme' international crime of a war of aggression.

 

j. End the disrespect for the jurisdiction and decisions of the International Court of Justice.

 

k. End  occupation of sovereign states. 

 

l. End the trumping of health, environment, civil and political and human rights for the sake of "militarized security", 

 

m. End the practice of targeting or assisting in the assassination of leaders of other sovereign states, and of engaging in "regime change". 

 

n. End the destabilization of states and regions through the sale of arms, including through the guise of "foreign aid’ or through infiltration of NGOs, such as USAID, NED, Freedom House or through fundamentalist Christians in groups such as Operation Rescue.

 

o. End the production of land mines, as required in the convention against landmines and end the procrastination, by those responsible, to remove land mines from all areas of the world where land mines are known to exist.

 

p. End the reluctance of nuclear arms states to comply with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by failing to implement Article VI of the Treaty, (Article VI: commits all parties to pursue negotiations in good faith on measures to end the nuclear arms race and to achieve disarmament.). 

 

q . (i) End the production of all weapons of mass destruction including nuclear,  chemical, and biological, as agreed to in UNCHE in 1972, and in specific conventions. And discontinue the gutting of the Treaty on Cluster bombs and other arms reduction treaties 

 

 (ii)  discontinue the failing to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Arms Trade Treaty. 

 

(iii) End the use of weapons that are prohibited under Article 36,which reads. 

In the study, development, acquisition or adoption of a new weapons, means or method of warfare, states are under an obligation to determine whether its employment would, in some or all circumstances, be prohibited by this Protocol or by any other rule of international law (Art 36. New weapons provision) Also in the additional Geneva protocol there are imposed limitations on the development of new weapons. Determine whether drones are prohibited by the Geneva Protocol on prohibited weapons

 

 

r. (i)Suffocate the production of uranium, end importing and exporting of uranium, prohibit the use of weapons such as those with depleted uranium and cluster and end the continued profit-making from the sale of arms and trade in small arms.

 

(ii) End the use of weapons that are prohibited under Article 36, which reads. 

In the study, development, acquisition or adoption of a new weapons, means or method of warfare, states are under an obligation to determine whether its employment would, in some or all circumstances, be prohibited by this Protocol or by any other rule of international law (Art 36. New weapons provision) Also in the additional Geneva protocol there are imposed limitations on the development of new weapons. Determine whether drones are prohibited by the Geneva Protocol on prohibited weapons

 

 

s. End "War Games" or "Military Exercises" such as Exercise Trident Fury or Northwest Training Range complex.

Prohibit propaganda for war as per International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), including establishing military bases, engaging in war games, producing and selling of armaments, and holding arms exhibition. End government investment in weapons systems: 

 

t. (i)  No longer oppose the implementation of regional nuclear arms free areas around the world. 

 

 (ii) End the production, circulation and berthing of nuclear powered or nuclear arms-capable vessels throughout the world.

 

v. End the disregard for the obligations under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty to ensure that exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind [humanity].

 

 

w .End the practice of "rendering"- sending "persons of interests" to countries which are known to condone torture.

 

x.  (i) End the refusal to be judged by an international tribunal for any actions that might be deemed to violate international law related to crimes against the peace, to war crimes, or to genocide.

 

(ii) End the discriminatory application of the ICC investigations “Some states are seen to be more Equal than others”

 

y. End the reluctance to abide by the 1975 Declaration on the Use of Scientific and Technological Progress in the Interests of Peace and for the Benefit of humanity.

 

 z. End the disregard for the UNESCO Declaration  that affirms that science and technology should be used in peace and for the benefit of humanity

 

16.13. COMMON SECURITY MUST TRUMP MILITARIZED SECURITY

                                          

True security is not militarized security, or collective security or "human security which has been used as various pretexts for war.

 

For years states have used various pretexts to justify the invasion of and aggression against other  states; For example, the pretext of “human security” was used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 1991, then “humanitarian intervention” was used to justify the invasion of Kosovo;  so-called  “self  Defense” (Art. 51of the UN Charter),  to justify the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, then  "Pre-emptive/ preventive" attack to justify the invasion of Iraq  in 2003, finally  it was “the responsibility to protect”  to justify the intervention in ’Haiti in 2004, and  the invasion of Libya in 2011. Even in 2013, after all the previous pretexts had been discredited, a new pretext was proposed, the “Will to Intervene” which had just been waiting to be used to justify an intervention into Mali in 2013. 

 

True security is Common Security; Common security through the adherence to the rule of international law

In 1982, Olaf Palme, in the Palme Commission Report on Disarmament and Security, report introduced the concept of common security which could be extended to embody the following objectives:

 

a.    to achieve a state of peace, and disarmament; through reallocation of military expenses and the delegitimization of war

b·    to create a global structure that respects the rule of law and the International Court of Justice;

c.    to enable socially equitable and environmentally sound employment, and ensure the right to development and social justice;·

d.    to promote and fully guarantee respect for human rights including labour rights, women’s rights civil and political rights, indigenous rights, social and cultural rights – right to food, right to housing, right to safe drinking water and sewage treatment, right to education and right to universally accessible not for profit health care system;

      e.     to ensure the preservation and protection of the environment, the respect for the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose, the reduction of the ecological footprint moving  away from the current model of unsustainable and excessive overconsumption

 

16.14 ROLE OF PEACE KEEPERS

Unfortunately Peace keepers have been used  before a peace treaty has been agreed to.  and for this reason there have been calls to arm Peace keepers and give them the power to engage in offensive operations. This would compromise the neutrality and impartiality which are  essential to the [UN’s] peacekeeping. Its presence should be perceived by all parties as that of an honest broker, and not a potential party to the conflict.”The important ptocedure would be to invoke chapter VI- The peaceful resolution of conflicts and work to ensure a peace treaty then Peace keepers could go in and help in the peaceful transition.

 

In Conclusion.the emphasis should be on the prevention of war and conflict and the demilitarization of all nations

 

Last Updated on Monday, 13 November 2017 13:30
 

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