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From 13 – 16 July 2015, Ethiopia will be hosting an important conference on funding for sustainable development goals. The waste and misuse of funds for militarism must be addressed. PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow
Wednesday, 08 July 2015 07:25

 By Joan Russow PhD - Global Compliance Research Project

 

 

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 needs and fundamental have not been met or fulfilled. Not only has militarism been a waste and misuse of resources, but also militarism is a major drain on funds that could fund he SDGs

 

YEARS OF GLOBAL COMMITMENTS RELATED TO MILITARISM AND DISARMAMENT

 

Through international agreements, member states of the United Nations have undertaken to address militarism;

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).

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" (Resolution on the Reduction of Military budgets, 1981).

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."

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)

In1992, 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 i Nations made a commitment to the "the reallocation of resources presently committed to military purposes" (33.18e)



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 are expensive in the context of either current global development or military expenditures." (Article 1.19)

In 1995, similarly, states in adopting the statement from the Social Development Summit endorsed the calling for the reallocation of military spending to ensure a greater pocket of resources to expand public services.

 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).

 

Unfortunately, institutional memory is either short or member states ignore precedents.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 July 2015 11:17
 

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