Excessive military spending is a perversion of values Costa Rica says at

24 September 2008Universal literacy, the eradication of many preventable diseases and safe drinking water for everyone could all be achieved if the world spent as much on those causes as it already does on military forces, Costa Rica’s President told the General Assembly tonight in a call for a radical re-think of global spending. Universal literacy, the eradication of many preventable diseases and safe drinking water for everyone could all be achieved if the world spent as much on those causes as it already does on military forces, Costa Rica’s President told the General Assembly tonight in a call for a radical re-think of global spending.Óscar Arias Sánchez told the Assembly’s high-level debate that many governments were hurting their citizens by indulging in excessive military spending.“On a planet where one-sixth of the population lives on less than a dollar a day, spending $1.2 trillion on arms and soldiers is an offence and a symbol of irrationality,” Mr. Arias said.He voiced particular concern about his own region, Latin America, where military spending last year topped $39 billion, even though the region “has never been more peaceful or more democratic.”Mr. Arias said that even tiny percentage reductions in military spending by countries could make a major difference to important causes and at the same time not jeopardize those nations’ defence.“I know no greater perversion of values, and no greater misplacement of priorities,” he said of the current spending arrangements. “With a small percentage of world military spending, we could give potable water to all of humanity, equip all homes with electricity, achieve universal literacy, and eradicate all preventable diseases.”The President called for international support for the Costa Rica Consensus, an initiative that would allow the debts of poor countries to be forgiven and increase spending on the environment, education, health care and housing in those States at the expense of funding arms and soldiers.“I also ask for your support for the arms trade treaty that Costa Rica is pushing forward in the heart of this Organization, to prohibit the transfer of arms to States, groups or individuals if sufficient reason exists to believe that those arms will be used to violate human rights or international law.“The destructive power of the 640 million small arms and light weapons that exist in the world, most in the hands of civilians, deserves the same or even more attention than military spending.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *