Here in New Zealand, I’ve just been to one of the first events of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, a panel of speakers organised by Peace Movement Aotearoa.
The Stockholm Independent Peace Research Institute figures for 2011 military expenditure have just been released, there’s a summary available here.
Edwina Hughes from PMA spoke about the trillions of dollars spent globally on arms by all militaries of the world’s nations. She was followed by Anne Else from CPAG, who spoke about the effect a small proportion of the NZ MOD spend would have on the outcomes for alleviating poverty in this country. In NZ, we spend a bit over $NZ 3 billion each year, and as has been reported in the news today, not all of that spending is considered, wise or even fully accountable. Then we heard from Tara D’Sousa, International Programmes Manager, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, who spoke about the failure of NZ to keep up with it’s commitment to meet 0.7% of GNI as a target for overseas development assistance, which is a UNDP target.