Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Global military spending drops slightly, but not far enough

Global military spending drops slightly, but not far enough

Peace Movement Aotearoa

14 April 2014

According to figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) today, the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, world military expenditure totalled US$1.75 trillion in 2013, a fall of 1.9 % in real terms since 2012. However:

“The fall in the global total comes from decreases in Western countries, led by the United States, and despite increases in all other regions. In fact, military spending in the rest of the world excluding the USA increased by 1.8 per cent”. - ‘Military spending continues to fall in the west but rises everywhere else, says SIPRI’, SIPRI, 14 April 2014.

The US is by far the world’s highest military spender - at US$640 billion last year, and:

“The next three highest spenders - China, Russia and Saudi Arabia - all made substantial increases, with Saudi Arabia leapfrogging the United Kingdom, Japan and France to become the world’s fourth largest military spender”. SIPRI, as above

In 2013, Africa had the largest relative rise in military spending of any region, by 8.3% to reach US$44.9 billion; in Latin America, military expenditure increased by 2.2% in real terms in 2013; and in the Middle East there was a 4% increase.

Military expenditure in Asia and Oceania increased by 3.6 per cent in 2013 - largely due to increased military spending by China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Australia. [1]

Australia is 13th on the list of states with the highest level of military expenditure last year, at US$24 billion. New Zealand’s military spending in the current financial year is more than NZ$3.26 billion.

The comparatively small drop in military expenditure last year took place in the context of overall spending cuts in the US and Europe in particular, and unfortunately does not mark a genuine shift away from excessive and wasteful military spending towards increased spending on meeting human needs.

Last year’s global military expenditure was, on average, almost US$4.8 billion every day. By way of contrast, an average of more than 24,000 children under the age of five die every day from mainly preventable causes - lack of access to adequate food, clean water and basic medicines. This is one of the prices paid, the collateral damage that is seldom talked about, for maintaining armed forces in a state of combat readiness around the world.

Government spending priorities, both global and national, are the focus of ‘Dollars and sense’ - this year’s public forum marking the Global Day of Action on Military Spending in Aotearoa New Zealand - with speakers from UNICEF NZ, the Living Wage Campaign, New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services and Peace Movement Aotearoa covering spending on children’s wellbeing, a living wage for all workers, social spending, and military expenditure. ‘Dollars and sense’: from 1pm to 2pm, in the First floor conference room, St Andrew’s on the Terrace, 30 The Terrace, Wellington. More details are available on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/441466909320826

Links to more information:

• ‘Military spending continues to fall in the west but rises everywhere else, says SIPRI’, 14 April 2014, available at www.sipri.org and www.converge.org.nz/pma/sipri-release14.pdf

• SIPRI Factsheet ‘Trends in world military expenditure, 2013’, 14 April 2014, available at www.sipri.org and www.converge.org.nz/pma/sipri-facts2014.pdf

• Global Day of Action on Military Spending in Aotearoa New Zealand: information and event listings - www.converge.org.nz/pma/gdams.htm

• ‘Global military spending drops slightly, but not far enough’ - formatted for printing at www.converge.org.nz/pma/milspend2014.pdf - on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PeaceMovementAotearoa/notes

Reference: [1] SIPRI Factsheet ‘Trends in world military expenditure, 2013’, 14 April 2014, available at www.sipri.org and www.converge.org.nz/pma/sipri-facts2014.pdf

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>

Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news