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September 2010
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War

Newsletter #32
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Dear Friends and Supporters of Article 9,

We are pleased to send you some information about the Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War's recent activities and related developments.


Global Day of Action on Military SpendingIn 2009, global military spending surged to an all-time high of US $1.53 trillion. Given the numerous crises facing the planet - economic, environmental, health, diplomatic - we must create a global movement to shift this money to human needs. 

Like the Global Article 9 Campaign, thousands of organizations and millions of individuals support this point of view. Today, we need to begin a serious mobilizing effort on a global scale to make visible our demands to feed people not the military-industrial complex.

As part of this campaign, the International Peace Bureau and the Institute for Policy Studies propose a Global Day of Action on Military Spending for early June 2011 (exact date to be announced) to coincide with the release of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's annual report, which will include new figures on military expenditures.

On this day, people all over the world will join together in actions to focus public, political, and media attention on the costs of military spending and the need for new priorities. Such events will help us to build the international network around this issue.

As engaged individuals and leaders in peace activism, you/your organization are invited to join us by (co-)sponsoring an event in your city. We will work with you to identify other people in your area to collaborate with.

Like the Global Article 9 Campaign, number of international groups and local organizations from Greece to Korea, Japan, the Philippines and the US have already committed to organizing some kind of action. What we now need is to extend this list much further, in order to inspire us all to go forward with the planning. We are keen to show that this issue is indeed a worldwide one, requiring creativity and commitment.

Please write to Colin Archer at IPB or John Feffer at IPS if you are interested in participating or if you have any questions.

Read the full text of the appeal here.


Last June, as part of what he calls a "once-in-a-generation" comprehensive spending review of Whitehall budgets, British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne asked the public which services to cut.

"Cut defence," proposed Simon Jenkins in his commentary in the Guardian, "cut it, all £45bn of it." Criticizing the ringfencing of the defense budget, he argued that the UK was "safer than at any time since the Norman conquest."

And indeed, the British Treasury has demanded a 10-20% cut in spending as part of a major Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). Later this month, recommendations will be presented to the National Security Council and then to Parliament.

The recommendations are yet to be made public, but they will likely include cuts in the Army's troops and the Royal Air Force's fleet, as well as postponing the replacement of Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent that consists of four submarines carrying atomic warheads.

The SDSR has generated a heated political debate over British nuclear deterrence, including over who, between Treasury and the Ministry of Defense, should pay the £20bn bill that the Trident's replacement will cost, leading to the proposal that the renewal of the missile program be postponed for a few years.

In fact, many do question the very necessity of keeping UK's nuclear deterrent all together. Even Tony Blair contends that "the expense is huge, and the utility in a post-cold war world is less in terms of deterrence, and non-existent in terms of military use".

Yet, some policy officials insist on keeping it, seeing the Trident as a diplomatic weapon in the international scene as they believe, like Blair, that scrapping their nuclear program would be the "downgrading of [the UK's] status as a nation".

While conservatives deplore the fact that such cuts will make Britain " almost certainly depart the world stage as a major military power", others believe "a smaller budget and smaller ambitions could be good for the country, if managed in the right way and coordinated with allies, especially in Europe."

The UK spends £42bn a year on defense - more than any other country in the world apart from the US, China and France - and more than the total British spending on schools. Speaking in the debate over the Trident replacement at the at Liberal Democratic conference, MP for Wells Tessa Munt said the cost of Trident should be compared with the costs of the "housing, education, health, social care needs that we have."

Other European governments are expected to cut into their defense spending, including France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The US is worried about such trend, as it indicates a likely lesser appetite for sending troops abroad. The UK has been the second largest military contributor after the US to the war in Afghanistan.

The Global Article 9 Campaign advocates for a decrease in worldwide military expenditures, the regulation of armament, and the reallocation of the world's limited resources to human security, sustainable development and peace promotion.

Read Simon Jenkins' commentary in the Guardian here.


As the UN General Assembly held a three-day summit at its Headquarters in New York on how to accelerate progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals before their 2015 deadline, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) issued a statement emphasizing "the links between military expenditure, the arms trade, violent conflict, and the reduction of available resources for social and economic development."

As the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs noted in its 2010 MDG Report, "unmet commitments, inadequate resources, lack of focus and accountability, and insufficient dedication to sustainable development have created shortfalls in many areas." Further, it anticipates that the global economic crisis will continue to have a negative impact on poverty.

Yet, worldwide military expenditure continues to increase substantially, reaching US$ 1531 billion according to SIPRI's estimates. In its 2010 Yearbook, SIPRI reckons that the lasting financial crisis "probably did undermine the willingness and ability of major governments and multilateral institutions to invest other, non-military resources to address the challenges and instabilities that threaten societies and individuals around the world."

Urging UN member states and civil society to act, WILPF makes eye-opening comparisons, notably showing that with one year of the world's military spending, we could finance over 24 years of the additional foreign aid required to reach the MDGs by 2015 or 700 years of the UN regular budget.

Referring to Article 26 of the UN Charter that calls for the least diversion of the world's human and economic resources for armaments, WILPF urges member states to reduce military spending and redirect these funds to meet human and environmental needs, including fulfilling the MDGs; establish UN mechanisms to report on military spending and arms trade; and support a robust legally-binding arms trade treaty that acknowledges the impact of the arms trade on socio-economic development.

Last month, the Global Article 9 Campaign likewise issued, along with other civil society representatives, a statement calling on governments to review their official spending, change their priorities and tap into their military budget to finance development.

Read WILPF's full statement here.

Read the statement issued by the Global Article 9 Campaign last month here.


The International Day of Peace is celebrated annually around the world on September 21 to call for non-violence, ceasefire and peace.

The UN General Assembly established it in 1981 as a day to raise awareness on conflict prevention and peacebuilding, highlight the work being done to build peace around the world and generate a global call for peace.

International Day of Peace 2010 - UNMIT/UN Photo2010 being proclaimed the International Year of Youth by the UN General Assembly, the theme of this year's International Day of Peace was Youth for Peace and Development.

In his official message, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged youth to promote international peace. "I say to all young people, join us. Help us to work for peace. You are impatient. You see what we, your elders, allow to persist, year after year: poverty and hunger; injustice and impunity; environmental degradation," he said.

Indeed, youth, peace and development are intimately interlaced: "Peace enables development, which is critical in providing opportunities for young people, particularly those in countries emerging from conflict. Healthy, educated youth are in turn crucial to sustainable development and peace. Peace, stability and security are essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, aimed at slashing poverty, hunger, disease, and maternal and child death by 2015."

Coincidentally, this year's International Day of Peace fell in the midst of the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals being held in New York's headquarters.

Visit the International Day of Peace 2010 UN Website here.

Also visit the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)'s and United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY)'s Peace Portal, which offers a place where you will be able to share, discuss and become involved with people from around the world that work for peace, here.

Picture credit: UNMIT - UN Photo

Thank you for your interest in and support for the Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War.


The Article 9 Team

Newsletter Editor:
Celine Nahory, International Coordinator
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War / Peace Boat

©2008 GPPAC JAPAN All Rights Reserved.