The international Peace Bureau, of which the Centre Delàs d'Estudis per la Pau is an active member and has its decentralized office in Barcelona, is calling for a dramatic reduction in military spending in favour of health care and to satisfy the social needs. The Centre Delàs has joined this call to invest in social spending instead of militarization in the current context of global crisis.
The world’s oldest peace NGO, the Nobel Prize-winning IPB, has called on UN's General Assembly world leaders to send a message of peace and solidarity to the world as they address the global health emergency.
"This is a time to open a new page in global relations to put geopolitical tensions to one side, to end proxy wars, for a ceasefire in those many conflicts around the world all of which stand to hamper a global solidarity effort. We have to lift the shadow of war and military brinkmanship which has blighted global cooperation in recent years and work to ensure that a spirit of peace and solidarity prevails.
The IPB has long drawn the world’s attention to the increasing velocity of the global arms race.
"Our communities are paying a high price for an arms race that has diverted resources from the basic health and welfare needs of the people. We are all paying a heavy price for failed leadership and misplaced market-driven practices that have weakened our means to address this emergency, which has hit the weakest hardest".
IPB'S CALL: INVEST IN HEALTHCARE INSTEAD OF MILITARIZATION
We, the signatories, call on the world leaders meeting at the General Assembly of the United Nations*, to dramatically reduce military spending in favor of healthcare and all social and environmental needs.
*Signatures will be brought to the United Nations General Assembly on the 1st day of the next session opening on September 15th 2020
Health Care Stress
Together with the International Peace Bureau, the world’s oldest peace organization and Nobel Prize winner, we are witnessing the consequences of irresponsible political decisions that have led to dramatic under-investment in healthcare. All over the world, health systems are reaching the limits of their strength and heroic front-line staff are under massive pressure. The coronavirus emergency shows the weakened state that our societies find themselves in: a world driven by financialization, shareholder value, and austerity has weakened our ability to defend the common good and placed human life in danger on a global scale.
Employees fearful of job and income loss are tempted to go to work sick. The elderly are vulnerable and need help. The virus hits the weakest hardest. Privatization, austerity measures, and the neoliberal system have brought local, regional and national health services to the brink of collapse.
We can already draw lessons for the future – healthcare is a human right for young and old, for all people in all parts of the world. Healthcare must never be slashed or subordinated in the pursuit of profit through privatization.
Time for a global social contract
The ILO reports on the labor market consequences with a potential loss of 25 million jobs, more than during the 2008 financial crisis. Working poverty is expected to increase significantly, affecting up to an additional 35 million individuals.
We support the efforts of the trade union movement globally and locally, in their call for a new social contract. We support their call for economic measures and resources to protect jobs, incomes, public services, and welfare.
The world spends US$ 1.8 trillion on military expenditure every year and is scheduled to spend 1 trillion dollars on new nuclear weapons in the next 20 years.
Militarization is the wrong path for the world to take; it fuels tensions and raises the potential for war and conflict. It aggravates already heightened nuclear tensions.
World leaders must put disarmament and peace at the center of policy making and develop a new agenda for disarmament that includes banning nuclear weapons. We reiterate our call for governments to sign up to the TPNW treaty.
Disarmament is a major key to the great transformation of our economies, to ensure that human beings and not profit are most valued; economies in which ecological challenges will be solved and global social justice will be pursued.
With disarmament, the implementation of the SDGs, a global social contract, and a new global green peace deal, we can address challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic.
We are calling the world leaders, meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2020, to act for a culture of peace. A peaceful path means that we need a global strategy, a global social contract, and global cooperation to ensure planet-wide support for people. This will be the human solidarity of the 21st century – for and with the people.