„Use the Tax for Welfare, not Warfare“
35 Civil Organizations: „As we celebrate the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, we are here to concern ever-increasing military spending and following challenges challenge and menace to our peace. We need to focus on the fact that
- the sum of global military spending indol2010 marked 1.6 trillionlars, which is an increase of about 150% compared to that of 2000;
- the trend does not seem to be discontinued even in the global economic crisis.
30 countries are raising their voices for military spending reduction. The reason is in that the huge military spending does not guarantee world peace and security but only
- brings ceaseless military tension and
- accelerates arms race.
Arms race in Northeastern Asia is a typical example on the phenomenon. The sum of military spending by the U.S., China, Russia, Japan and South Korea reached about 889.4 billion dollars in 2009, which holds 58% of the total military spending worldwide. South Korea’s military expenditure has been doubly increased in 2009 compared with 2000. Though each country increases military budget drastically, peace on the Korean Peninsular and Northeastern Asia is in a very distant future. Present situation we are currently facing proves that enormous amount of military spending and multitudinous weapons do not assure peace.
We deeply concern that considerable numbers of matters critical for human lives are ignored and pushed back on the priority list of budget expenditure, while military spending is always overspent.
- Global warming,
- disease and
- energy policies relying on nuclear power
are highly urgent tasks not only for South Korea, but the whole world. An analysis shows that even only 20% of the global military spending can achieve the Millenum Development Goals(MDG) that the United Nations has set to eradicate global poverty. Therefore, it is the right time to ask what is the most urgent threat of our lives?
We believe that
- each country should break out of vicious circle of endless arms race.
- even many issues “military readiness” can be solved peacefully through extended mutual respect and trust, and a tight control and reduction in military spending.
A huge amount of military spending can be cut by strict verification and effective execution of budget. We emphasize that reduced budget should be used for prioritized issues for people’s lives.
On the Gloal Day of Action on Military Spending , MPs and civic groups in Korea promise
- to take a leading role in alleviating military tension and confrontation in the Northeastern region of Asia and
- in establishing a community of permanent peace and coexistence and
suggest as below:
- We reasonably secure welfare resources through freezing and reducing military budget. Building mutual trust among countries and reconsidering the validity, transparency and efficiency of military spending will make a considerable amount of fund should be used to relieve many social threats people are facing in their lives.
We are concerned about the fact that major countries in Northeast Asia including South Korea are seeking to foster their war. It is an exaggeration that war industry could benefit the development of civilian technologies. It is war industry that mounts military tension and conflicts at home and abroad and destroys the foundation of peaceful life. Each government should reconsider their policies involved with the investment in war industry, and restrain themselves from promoting weapons which may lead to conflicts. From this aspect, South Korea, which is the world’s second largest arms importer along with China, must reconsider its current policy that it would develop arms industry as the growth engines to become the world’s 7th largest arms exporter. Instead, we are calling upon your government to join the Convention on Cluster Munition and Mine Ban Treaty that regulate inhumane arms.
- We insist that the Korean Peninsular be denuclearized without relying on nuclear deterrent. lethal nuclear threat is bound to occur from the defense policies dependent on nuclear deterrent such as North’s nuclear weapons the U.S. nuclear umbrella over South Korea and Japan. Treaty banning nuclear weapons should be concluded at the earliest possible moment as the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon suggested. We urge every related country to quickly reopen six-party talks on the denuclearization in Northeast Asia. Also, we call on each nation in Northeastern Asia to start a discussion about the denuclearization of Northeastern Asia to remove nuclear threat from the region as a comprehensive measure.
- We are worried that continuous arms race, military alliances and aggressive military schemes have been becoming permanent while Northeast Asia being the world’s biggest arsenal. Arms race has not brought peace in the region and only justified military motivations to possess asymmetrical deterrent such as nuclear weapons and missiles. Therefore, we urge peaceful and multilateral efforts to reduce the threats out of conventional arms and alleviate military imbalance along with a discussion on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsular.
- We are concerned that the expansion of military security education by the government and the army to inject old distorted sense of security. We firmly believe our children need peace education that reflects the values of democracy such as human rights, peace, diversity and tolerance, not the one internalizing confrontation, hostility, militarism, and nationalism. Therefore, one-sided propaganda in the form of education by the government and quasi-military trainings in the name of military experience should be immediately stopped.
- We do not think the government is the only one that should try to alleviate military tension and confrontation and secure peace and coexistence. As the ultimate goal of military and security policy is to guarantee people live safely, civil engagement is both desirable and essential in the prioritization. We urge to improve systems of all countries including South Korea for the public disclosure and the civil engagement of the policymaking procedures on military security.
12 April, 2011 Global Day of Action on Military Spending
31 MPs and 35 Civil Groups
(31MPs) Kang Ki Kab, Kang Gi Jung, Kang, Chang-Il, Kwak Jung Sook, Kwon Young Ghil, Kim Sang Hee, Kim Sung Gon, Kim Young Hwan, KIM YOO-JUNG, KIM, JIN PYO, Moon Hak Jin, Park, Sunsook, Eun Soo Park, Park Joo Sun, BAEK JAE HYUN, Byun Jae Il, Shin, Nakyun, Lew Seon Ho, You Won Il, Lee, Mikyung, LEE, YONG-KYUNG, LEE, JUNG-HEE, Lee ChoonSuak, Jeon Hae Sook, Chung, Sye-kyun, Cho Bae Sook, Cho Seung Soo, Choi, Young-Hee, HONG YOUNG PYO, Hong, Jae-hyong, Hong Hee Deok
(35 Civil Organizations)
Imagination for International Solidarity
CCEJ KOREA REUNIFICATION SOCIETY
Korean House for International Solidarity
Korea Association of Christian Women for Women Minjung
NANUMMUNHWA (Global Peace Activities)
Korea Peace Foundation
Daejeon Women’s Association for Peace
Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute
MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society U.S. Military Issues Committee
Suwon Women’s Association
Civil Peace Forum
Friends of Asia
Korean Sharing Movement
World Without War
Jeju Human Rights Center
The National Campaign for Eradication of Crimes by U.S. Troops in Korea
People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
Catholic Human Rights Committee
Palestine Peace Solidarity
Pyeong-taek Peace Center
Women Making Peace
Young Peace Center Pureum
Korea Anabaptist Center
Korean Women’s Association United
The Korean Council for the Women Draftedfor Military Sexual Slavery by Japan
The Headquarters of National Unification Movement of Young Korean Academy
translated by students in English Interpretation and Translation,
Hankook Univ. of Foreign Studies: HUFS