The INES Global Responsibility Newsletter reports and comments – from a global perspective – on political, technical and societal developments and comprises of regular internal news sections.
Campaigns» Disarmament for Sustainable Development
Disarmament for Sustainable Development as a world wide goal
An international appeal for Disarmament
Updated wording after Rio+20
In 1992 the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Earth Summit) connected the challenges concerning environmental threats and development around the world. It named this connection, following the Brundtland Report “Our common future” of 1987, sustainable development, a term that was at once accepted internationally as “the challenge of the decade”. 2012 took place the world summit on sustainability Rio + 20 where the related challenges of peace and disarmament should have been discussed. However, these issues t were excluded.
Disarmament for Development – today’s challenge
In 2011 global military spending amounted to $1730 billion – despite the fact that 1 billion people suffer from hunger, even more do not have access to safe water or adequate health care and education, and even in the developed world millions are without work. The Millennium Development Goals cannot be realized while the world squanders its wealth on militarism.
Today’s climatic and environmental conditions exacerbate this imbalance. Ecological disasters pile up; the loss of biodiversity and the destruction of the eco-system are increasing dramatically. In addition, the current economic crisis has made the world’s governments reduce spending on critical human needs and is once again hitting the weakest the hardest.
However, apparently unlimited financial resources seem to be available for military jets, tanks, ships, bombs, missiles, landmines and nuclear weapons. The technological developments in the armaments field are becoming more and more sophisticated and murderous.
How to reverse this process is the challenge of today.
The signatories of this Appeal demand that the governments of the world seriously address this neglected issue, and agree on a global plan for disarmament even more after the failure of the Rio Summit in June 2012. The freed-up funds should be used for social, economic and ecological programs in all countries. Starting in 2013, military spending should be cut back substantially, that is, by a minimum of 10 percent per annum. The aim is to launch a dynamic towards sustainable development, which could start by establishing an internationally-managed Fund with a capital of more than $170 billion.
“Disarmament for Sustainable Development” should be announced as one of the sustainable development goals. The discussion about sustainable development goals was one of the results of the Rio + 20 conference.
One of the outcomes of Rio+20 was the discussion on the continuation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). These had the initial deadline of 2015 but are still far from being achieved three years from then. In addition, they do not cover all of the world’s challenges. The concept of ‘Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) was brought up in Rio and is currently discussed. We want the inclusion of Disarmament and Peace in this list of SDGs as they are a fundamental condition for development.
Without disarmament, there will be no adequate development; without development, there will be no justice, equality and peace. We must give sustainability a chance.
Avaaz.org took up the Disarmament for Sustainable Development-campaign
Community Petitions by Avaaz is a new web platform that gives people around the world the power to start and win campaigns at the local, national, and international levels.
Community Petitions is a crowd-sourced part of Avaaz, the largest-ever global web movement bringing people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere. Every week, millions of people from all walks of life and in every country take action through Avaaz on pressing issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change.
Even before the Rio+20 Summit, with the scandalous realization of a closing statement produced mainly by the EU and Brazil in advance, the little hope that one could have had in this conference for finding effective steps towards protection of the environment and a positive development for billions of starving people burst like a bubble.
Another Earth Summit that produces nothing more than words, expenses and destructive journeys by air. What we will observe at the Summit:
No new initiatives fighting the climatic change – remember Copenhagen
Continuation of the exploitation of fossil energies and development of nuclear energy
No actions against the global environmental crisis and challenges
Nothing regarding protection of the seas and waters, or regarding deforestation
No real obligations for the industrial states
The civil society admonishes of peace as a requirement for sustainable development with the project „The Bread Tank“ - Without disarmament there is no sustainable development! Read on
21. June 2012
"Are You Here to Save Face — or Save Us?": Brittany Trilford, 17, Addresses World Leaders at Rio+20
On Wednesday, 17-year-old environmental activist Brittany Trilford of Wellington, New Zealand, addressed more than a hundred heads of state at the opening plenary of the Rio+20 U.N. Earth Summit, the largest United Nations gathering ever. "We are all aware that time is ticking, and we are quickly running out," Trilford said. "You have 72 hours to decide the fate of your children, my children, my children’s children. And I start the clock now." Listen to her speech and an interview with her here:
"The world is over armed and peace is under-funded […] sixty years of United Nations peacekeeping operations have cost less than six weeks of current military spending."
Ban Ki-moon, July 2012
During the preparatory process of the Rio +20 Summit, the idea of adopting a new set of goals, namely the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has emerged. These goals aim at addressing and incorporating in a balanced and broader way all the key dimensions of sustainable development. They also reaffirm the past political commitments of all actors. SDGs are mentioned in paragraphs 245 to 251 of the Outcome Document under the title IV: Framework for action and follow up. During the Conference, states agreed to develop SDGs through a process under the supervision of the UN, but failed to define the different themes that should be considered.
By September, the UN General Assembly will appoint a group of representatives from 30 countries to develop the SDGs and define the UN's overall Post-2015 development agenda. The group will submit its recommendations to the 68th session of the GA. The new programme is planned to enter into force in 2015 as an immediate follow up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which, some say, should not be retired before their targets have been reached. INES together with IPB and other partners are working on promoting a SDG on peace and security, an issue that was excluded from the MDGs. Meanwhile the UN System Task Teamhas published its Report to the Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This makes reference to the Rio commitments, and does incorporate a peace and security dimension. However the military spending aspect is completely excluded. We are now planning a post-Rio project focusing on this crucial missing issue.
See some media coverage of our Rio activities:
Disarmament for Sustainable Development
We continue to collect signatures after the Rio+20 conference. A next step of the campaign is planned.
"Bread not bombs" film (3:39) by NTV Kenya about the bread tank.
Spiegel online (in German): Umweltschützer beklagen mangelhaftes Gipfelergebnis
Die Bilanz des Uno-Gipfels Rio+20 ist umstritten. Es fehlen klare Ziele oder verbindliche Fristen im Abschlussdokument, urteilen Naturschützer. Politiker finden trotzdem lobende Worte für die Konferenz.
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