New Delhi, April 12: With the clarion call, “Reduce Military Expenditure, Reduce Poverty”, Control Arms Foundation of India and the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network joined friends in more than 35 countries to participate in the first-ever Global Day of Action on Military Spending that was successfully held in India`s capital New Delhi.
A vigil and drumming ceremony was organised at India Gate, where fliers were distributed to the public. Later submitting a memorandum to Prime Minister and also members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence.
Between 2000 and 2007 India ranked world`™s second largest arms importer accounting for 7.5 percent of all major weapons transfers. Now in 2011, India has now emerged as the largest arms importer in the world, overtaking China. India accounted for 9% of all international arms imports between 2006-2010, making it the world`s largest weapons importer.
We called upon our government that 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. In our memorandum, we call upon government of India to:
To cut military expenditure and the saved fund to be deployed towards combating and providing social security.
To support the United Nations Process for an international Arms Trade Treaty.
Call upon governments in South Asia to support the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Take the lead in international humanitarian disarmament which was the pillar of India`™s Foreign Policy in 1950s and 1960s
Inclusion of women in peace, security and disarmament issues.