Putting an end to militarism

Statement from the Triennial Conference of the International Peace Bureau

September 13-15 2013
Stockholm , Sweden

“The World is Over-armed and Peace is Under-funded” – Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General

There was a new hope expressed at the IPB Triennial Conference, welcoming the agreement between Russia and the USA on chemical weapons in Syria. Hopefully this will lead to negotiations to put an end to the terrible civil war.

The forming of international coalitions for military intervention is now much more difficult as public opinion against war has become so strong. People are weary of war and the deceit and rhetoric that go with it. They are suspicious of double speak and are tired of ‘humanitarian’ statements which end with actions that simply generate more human suffering.

We demand that our voices are heard and our desire for peace taken seriously!
Military intervention and the culture of war serve vested interests. They are extremely expensive, escalate violence, and can lead to chaos. They also reinforce the idea that war is a viable solution to human problems.

The money being fed into the military would be far better spent eliminating hunger and poverty, providing education and stimulating culture, reversing climate change and improving social justice. Just some 10% of the world’s annual military spending would be enough to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Disarmament and peace have to be an important part of the UN post-2015 development agenda.

There is now an urgent need to remove once and for all the dominance of military thinking and the way it is implicit in aggressive alliances, notably NATO. Instead we need to strengthen the process towards real democracy and enable the UN to focus on diplomacy, international law and intercultural cooperation to achieve environmental and human security.

Over the centuries many courageous men and women have risked imprisonment and even their lives by speaking out against militarism. Among them, conscientious objectors and whistle-blowers are democracy’s safeguard.

In the twentieth century, millions died and suffered from violent conflicts. We should use the upcoming centenary of World War 1 to demonstrate the alternatives.

Imagine what the world would look like today if we had used non-violent means to solve conflicts rather than war.

Now is the time to end the era of militarism!

Comments

  1. paul kangas

    Participatory budgeting.
    How can the working class occupy the budget?

    War is caused by our addiction to oil.
    We can break this addiction by switching to solar.
    We would rather switch than fight.

    America needs to enlarge its manufacturing base, by building a million solar powered homes and apartment buildings in each state.  

    Lancaster, Ca., now requires all new homes to be 100% solar powered. LA has a feed-in tariff payment policy (FiT). This will create 22 million jobs in the US by 2020, and best of all, reduce our need for oil, when most homes are solar powered.  
    With a Feed-in tariff policy (FiT) in each city, owners would be paid $0.49 kwh for feeding solar onto the grid, eliminating our need for gas fracking, coal & oil.   Electric cars can be powered from solar. The car battery stores enough energy to run a home for a week.
    The US now buys its solar panels from Indonesia, Japan & China, so building solar powered homes here, helps workers in Asia. This is a fair trade.   

    Each US city could be 100% solar powered by 2020, if we pass a solar Feed-in tariff and build solar powered homes now.

    Oil, coal & gas pollution are more dangerous than nuclear, because the air is now at 410 ppm.

    We must stop all oil use now, today, to get back to 350ppm or else face a massive die-off. We must stop the KXL pipe & fracking.

    The best way we can do this if every city follows the example of Germany. It only takes 5 activist in each city to put a FiT on the ballot. Solar is now cheaper than oil, coal or gas.
    Germany has banned fracking & nukes using a solar FiT.

    Paul Kangas  Youtube: paul8kangas

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