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  • 2012.04.17
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<The 2nd Global Day of Action on Military Spending - Press Release >


Welfare, NOT Warfare 


We gather here today, on the 2nd Global Day of Action on Military Spending, to alarm that the governments continue to expand military spendings even though they have reduced overall budget due to financial crisis.


Today, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released the report that world military spending in 2011 is estimated to have been $ 1.7 trillion. Top three military spenders in 2011 are US (1st), China (2nd), and Russia (3rd). Between 2007 to 2011, arms trade has increased of 24% compare to arms trade between 2002 to 2006. Among all, 44% of arms import is concentrated in Asia and Oceania and South Korea's arms purchase rank second highest in the world. This year, South Korean government's military spending budget is 33trillion won, and the Government is planning to make a contract of around 14trillion won on purchasing arms.


We cannot but asking questions regarding this situation. Do human kind and especially Korean peninsula become more peaceful and safe by spending these amount of money? Who put these money which is our tax into their pocket? Instead of buying destructive weapons, only if they use these money in providing welfare, education, adequate house and medical service, only if they use these money in responding climate change and end poverty, and only if they use these money to build trust and establish diplomacy to prevent conflict, don't you think that the world would be a better place by now?


We believe that the reason why the whole world including Korean peninsula is suffering from armed conflict and military tension is not because we have insufficient military spending but we are spending too much money on military. If we expand military spending and use it to buy destructive weapons, those countries who take it as a threat will develop more lethal weapons even though it means more sacrifice. This is exactly what happens now in Korean peninsula where we stand. Expanding military spending will bring another military spending. It is difficult to achieve peace and safety of human kind with expanding military spending.


To sustain enormous military spending and expanding it, it is necessary to exaggerate threats and create fear. However, if we prioritise military rather than put our efforts in building trust among countries, it will inevitably lead to resistance and conflict. Constructing navy base Jeju island is a classic example. Constructing navy base in Jeju clearly shows how emphasizing military only would lead to destruction of community and ecological environment and prevalent state's violence towards its people. Likewise, expanding military spending is also connected to violation of human rights and right to peace.


In this regards, we draw attention again that expanding military spending does not lead to peace and emphasize the world military powers including South Korea should end vicious circle of military spending competition. From now on, we urge every country to end politics of fear and mistrust but consider what is most important for its people. Also, we remind all government that expending military spendings under the reason of national security will eventually become threats to each other and it is at the cost of peace and welfare. Among all, military spending competition in Northeast Asia where military tension and conflict is routinized must stop immediately. It is necessary for countries voluntarily reduce military spending, especially for those who create armed conflict around the world and focusing on selling arms.


Today, to call on reducing military spending globally, there will be around 130 peace campaigns simultaneously in 40 countries including South Korea. It is not possible to end military spending with one country's initiatives.


Once again, we strongly urge governments to 'use our tax on welfare, not on warfare'. Also, we are sending solidarity message to villagers of Gangjeong who are suffering unilateral construction of navy base by the military.


2012. 4. 17

Participants to the 2nd Global Day of Action on Military Spending

- 33 civil society and peace organisations 



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