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On April 14, Global Day of Action on Military Spending, the International Peace Bureau organised a seminar in Geneva which attracted the participation of many NGO representatives and others. The goal was to draw attention to the latest statistics and to discuss ways to take action in order to favour the reallocation of military expenditures to social and environmental programmes.

The speakers were:

  • Michael Møller, Acting Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament and Acting Director-General UN Office at Geneva
  • Colin Archer, Secretary-General, International Peace Bureau, and Coordinator, Global Day of Action on Military Spending
  • Prof. Alfred de Zayas, UN Human Rights Council Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order
  • Helen Wilandh, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI


Moderator: Jarmo Sareva, Deputy Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament and Director, Office for Disarmament Affairs, Geneva Branch “Global military spending levels remain at an all-time high. In 2012 they reached a total of USD 1’730 billion. Meanwhile, the international community calls for much greater investments in a whole range of fields that are critical for human survival: humanitarian relief, climate change mitigation and adaptation, prevention of pandemics, sustainable development and the construction of a green economy. Many civil society groups and influential individuals, not least the UN Secretary-General, have been urging a major change in priorities. The seminar will present the latest figures and trends (SIPRI data for 2013 to be published on April 14) and will consider the funds allocated to the military, not only as a disarmament issue, but also as a potential contributor to social and environmental protection. The speakers will also address the place of such concerns within the debates on the UN’s Post-2015 Development Agenda and in relation to issues of transparency and democracy.”