Press Release – GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION ON MILITARY SPENDING

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Press Release

GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION ON MILITARY SPENDING
Cut Military Spending, Fund Human Need

On April 17, 2012, people all over the world will join together for the second Global Day of Action on Military Spending. We urge you to join us.The current economic crisis has put pressure on the world’s governments to reduce spending on critical human needs: confronting climate change, battling deadly diseases, achieving the Millennium Development Goals. But apart from a few courageous exceptions, national governments continue to waste enormous resources on the military. Figures from the 2011 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) annual report show that the world’s governments are spending more than ever on the military: $1,630 billion per year – and rising. If spent differently, this money would go a long way to resolving the real challenges facing our planet. In June 2012 the world’s leaders and thousands of civil society activists will meet in Rio de Janeiro for the Rio+20 Earth Summit to chart a transition to a sustainable, green society with jobs and opportunities for all. Our Global Day, happening just two months before Rio, is an ideal chance to remind the world that we can’t achieve this goal without freeing up the money and brainpower wasted on military activities.

We people in India are joining friends in more than 35 countries to participate in the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. On this day, people around the world will demand that their governments to reduce military spending and devote those precious resources to pressing human needs. They will send a message that $1.5 trillion is too much.

Nobody can dispute that money spent on arms, in a developing economy, must be at the expense of more pressing needs of social and infrastructure development. Yet, defence is a prime responsibility of the state and maintaining an autonomous capability to defend a nation’s sovereignty and enhance its national interests are the principal responsibilities of governments. Developing nations like India continue to be the primary importers of arms. Between 2000 and 2007 India ranked world’s second largest arms importer accounting for 7.5 percent of all major weapons transfers. Now in 2012, India has now emerged as the largest arms importer in the world, overtaking China. India accounted for 9% of all international arms imports between 2006-2011, making it the world`s largest weapons importer.

The most important social aspect is human security which is often threatened by the insecurity caused by poverty. When people are dying of poverty, can security and arms provide them with a basic square meal? In a country where poverty is rampant and where there is great deal to be done in the fields of health and education, we cannot be spending so much on defence. Our battle is against starvation and deprivation, which cannot be fought with guns and missiles. We call upon government of India and South Asia to:

1. To cut military expenditure and the saved fund to be deployed towards combating and providing social security.

2. To support the United Nations Process for an international Arms Trade Treaty

3. Call upon governments in South Asia to support the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

3. Take the lead in international humanitarian disarmament which was the pillar of India’s Foreign Policy in 1950s and 1960s

4. Inclusion of women in peace, security and disarmament issues

On 17 April 2012 we the members of Control Arms Foundation of India are organizing an awareness programme at Dilli Hatt, INA market, where fliers will be distributed to the public. Later we are submitting a memorandum to Prime Minister and also members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence.

For More Information, please contact:

Control Arms Foundation of India
Email: [email protected] Mobile: +91-9891210264
Address for correspondence: B 5/146, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi-110029, India.
Phone: +9-11-46018541 Fax: +91-11-26166234.Website / Blog: www.cafi-online.org & http://neiwip.blogspot.com/

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