17 April is the second annual Global Day of Action on Military Spending!

The Day of Action coincides with the release of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) new annual figures on world military expenditures. Founded by the International Peace Bureau and the Institute for Policy Studies, this day will bring together people in more than 80 countries in joint actions that will focus attention on the costs of military spending.

Military spending relates to the Arms Trade Treaty in a few ways. Obviously, the weapons trade between states constitutes a significant portion of defense budgets. Those states with the highest levels of military spending are also those with the largest arms industries or engaged in the arms trade. Excessive spending on arms, when it occurs, typically results in shortfalls in other areas – including sorely needed education, health care, and development investment and assistance. Through its proposed criteria on human rights and socio-economic development, the Arms Trade Treaty could help states address spending priorities.

Some Control Arms members are participating in the Day of Action and making linkages to the ATT. For example, the Norwegian Peace Association and other organizations will be leading a series of events throughout the evening that will feature “Speak Out! Campaign” information stands. As well, their new report on military spending will also call for development criteria in the ATT. Other members of civil society are also drawing connections. John Feffer referenced the link between the ATT and military spending in a recent column. In London, the Coalition Against Arms Trade is inviting people to join them at the Business Department for a creative action to highlight the issue.

Visit www.demilitarize.org for more information about military spending and events in your area.


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