World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Experts Urge Less Military Spending, More Investment

On Global Day, Un Expert Urges Less Military Spending, More Investment In Development

New York, Apr 14 2014 10:00AM

Marking the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, the United Nations independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order called on all governments to boost transparency and cuts in military expenditures, and increase investments in nutrition, health, environmental protection and other major sustainable development challenges.

“Every democracy must involve civil society in the process of establishing budgets, and all sectors of society must be consulted to determine what the real priorities of the population are,” Special Rapporteur Alfred de Zayas said in a <"http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=14504&LangID=E">statement. “Lobbies, including military contractors and other representatives of the military-industrial complex, must not be allowed to hijack these priorities to the detriment of the population’s real needs.”

The expert urged world parliaments to implement the will of the people, based on representative opinion polling, and significantly reduce all military expenditures (arms production, military research, military bases abroad, surveillance of private citizens, ‘intelligence’-gathering, or overt and covert military operations).

“Tax revenue must be reoriented toward the promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, for research into sustainable sources of energy and for the promotion of sustainable development,” Mr. de Zayas stressed.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, global military spending levels are at an all-time high, reaching a total of $1.75 trillion in 2012, a number that Mr. de Zayas says constitutes “an unconscionable use of resources.”

“In a world where millions of human beings live in extreme poverty, die of malnutrition and lack medical care, where pandemics continue to kill, it is imperative to pursue good faith disarmament negotiations and to shift budgets away from weapons production, war-mongering, and surveillance of private persons, and devote available resources to address global challenges including humanitarian relief, environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation, prevention of pandemics, and the development of a green economy,” he said.

Mr. de Zayas highlighted that such a shift in States’ spending habits is key to achieving the UN post-2015 development agenda.

“I am surprised that in the current context of global socio-economic crisis, few have voiced indignation regarding the disproportionate levels of military spending. The place to exercise austerity is in wasteful military expenditures, not in social protection,” he insisted.

The Special Rapporteur urged governments to “considerably reduce funds allocated to the military, not only as a disarmament issue, but also as a potential contributor to social and environmental protection,” and called for “the holding of referenda on this issue worldwide.”

Estimating that a 10 per cent annual reduction in military expenditures would be “reasonable,” Mr. de Zayas also encouraged all States to contribute to the UN’s annual Report on Military Expenditures by submitting complete data on national defence budgets.

Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>


Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:


US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Berlin Truck Attack And The Refugee Question

The hard-nosed neo-cons were certainly showing little interest in linking arguments, examining evidence, or even considering elementary logic in the aftermath of the Berlin truck attack near the Gedächtniskirche. With the bodies fresh in the morgue, former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, peered into the mind of the everyday German, and found teeth chattering fear. More>>


Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news