This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and the division of the Korean Peninsula. Yet full peace and reconciliation is far from being achieved in Northeast Asia.
Tensions between Japan, China, and the Koreas over territorial disputes, historical issues and nuclear weapons programs, exacerbated by overall regional trends of nationalism and militarism, are triggering an arms race and creating a climate of increasing mistrust among key Northeast Asian countries. The security environment in the region has been additionally complicated by the US “rebalancing” to Asia, including its strengthening of alliance in Northeast Asia. Ongoing efforts by the current Japanese administration to revise the country’s war-renouncing constitution play a further detrimental role in this regard.
Appeal to Members of the German Bundestag:
Stop the new arms race – disarmament for a sustainable future!
Already in 2010 Ban Ki-Moon warned us: “the world is over-armed and peace is under-funded”. For 2013 the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) calculated global military expenditures of over $1.7 trillion. Hundreds of billions will be spent for the modernization of nuclear arsenals and the NATO summit in Wales decided to raise the level of its demand on member states’ military spending to 2% of their GDP. For Germany that would amount to €53 billion per year – nearly two thirds more than today. China, Russia, Brazil, India and many other states are upgrading their defence capacity as well. The global arms race enters a new round.
“The world is over-armed and peace is under-funded.” — Ban Ki-moon
Statement on the Global Day Against Military Spending (GDAMS), 13 April 2015, part of the Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS). The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of military spending and alternatives.
Across the EU, governments spend a total of 255 Billion euro on the military. This is grossly excessive and contributes to insecurity for many people around the world.
On this Global Day of Action on Military Spending, 13 April 2015, Pax Christi International expresses deep concern about the scandal of excessive military spending in a world where human and ecological well-being are in dire need of investment. Figures recently published by SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, estimate world military expenditures in real terms for 2014 at roughly $ 1.8 trillion, a significant increase from the already shocking $ 1.75 trillion spent in 2013.