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Governments should cut military spending and invest more in human development, according to a United Nations expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order.

On the occasion of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, marked on 14 April,Alfred de Zayas said every democracy must determine what the real priorities of the population are, and reduce military expenditures.

Global military spending levels reached an all-time high of 1.75 trillion US dollars in 2012, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

In a world where millions of people live in extreme poverty, die of malnutrition and lack medical care, Mr. de Zayas said it is imperative to pursue good faith disarmament negotiations.

This could shift budgets away from weapons production and prevent “war-mongering” he said.

He added that states need to address global challenges including humanitarian relief, environmental protection, the prevention of pandemics, and the development of a green economy.

Mr. de Zayas said a 10 per cent reduction in military expenditures per year would be reasonable.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’15″