For many years, there have been calls from around the world that we must reduce military spending and demilitarize. It is time we heed these calls and take action.
Our Common Future : The World Commission on Environment and Development
Our Common Future was commissioned by the United Nations and published in 1987. It was an examination of the critical environment and development problems on the planet and to determine realistic proposals to solve them. The Commisson recognized the need to cut military spending and shift to environmental and human needs. In Chapter 11 entitled Peace, Security, Development and The Environment, the Commission states:
“The absence of war is not peace; nor does it necessarily provide the conditions for sustainable development. Competitive arms races breed insecurity among nations through spirals of reciprocal fears. Nation need to muster resources to combat environmental degradation and mass poverty. By misdirecting scarce resources, arms races contribute further to insecurity.”
“Nations must turn away from the destructive logic of an ‘arms culture’ and focus instead on their common future.”More information about Our Common Future is here: www.un-documents.net/wced-ocf.htm
Agenda 21 is the action plan that was adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in Brazil in 1992. Canada voted to adopt this plan.
In Chapter 33 under “Innovative Financing,” clause 16 states:
“New ways of generating new public and private financial resources should be explored, in particular: (e) The reallocation of resources at present committed to military purposes.”
More information about Agenda 21 is here: www.un-documents.net/k-001962.htm
The Earth Charter is the ethical framework for sustainable development. It is the most significant global civil society document that was agreed to by consensus. It was adopted by UNESCO in 2000.
The Charter comprises 16 principles into the following 4 categories: respect for the community of life, ecological integrity, social and economic justice, and democracy, peace and non-violence.
Under IV Democracy, Peace and Non-violence, clause 16 states:
“Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace. (c) Demilitarize national security systems to the level of a non-provocative defense posture, and convert military resources to peaceful purposes, including ecological restoration.”
More information here about The Earth Charter: www.earthcharterinaction.org/content/pages/Read-the-Charter.html