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


UN urges States to be clearer on military expenditure

UN expert urges States to be more transparent on military expenditure

BRUSSELS (16 May 2014) – At the conclusion of an expert consultation convened by the Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order in Brussels on 15 May and attended by senior representatives of several organizations including NATO, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Transparency International, the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the International Peace Bureau (IPB), the Bonn International Conversion Center (BICC), the Group for Research and Information for Peace (GRIP), the Quaker Council for European Affairs and the Flemish Peace Institute, the Independent Expert, Alfred de Zayas, called for increased transparency on military expenditure:

“Since a democratic and equitable international order requires peace, States must engage in good faith negotiations for disarmament and significantly reduce military expenditure and the arms trade. While States frequently give lip service to disarmament and some progress could be observed, considerable efforts should still be made to reduce military spending. There is a general lack of transparency with regard to military budgets worldwide. Governments are reluctant to come forward with detailed information and statistics on military expenditures. Insufficient attention is devoted to these issues by the media, as if such matters were taboo. There is also scarce public participation in the determination of budget priorities. Powerful lobbies, including the military-industrial complex, weigh heavily on parliaments and governments and impose priorities that have no democratic legitimacy.

In order to remedy this situation, States should proactively inform their citizens concerning past, present and future military expenditure and engage the public in a debate on budget priorities. Good practices in combatting corruption and increasing transparency should be promoted. Moreover, the culture of fear that is advanced in some countries to justify the need for more sophisticated and extremely expensive weapons should be combatted.

States should henceforth report to the Human Rights Council on military expenditure, not only on the production and stockpiling of weapons, personnel and military bases abroad, but also on military-related research, including research into nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) procedure would be an appropriate forum to discuss a shift away from the “military first” approach prevalent in many countries towards the promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. States should report to the UPR on the percentage of the national budget used for all military-related expenditure (including slush funds) and contrast it against the percentage of the budget devoted for the administration of justice, education and health care.

Disarmament would help free resources necessary for sustainable development. Financial resources released through disarmament and downscaling of the military should be used to retrain personnel and to promote development of peaceful industries domestically and internationally.”


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news