THE ARMS REDUCTION COALITION (ARC) PO BOX, 42567 LONDON, E1 2WP, UK Tel:+44 07903967355 /+44 07776231018 E-Mail: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
ARC BRIEF 1 MAY 2005
The Arms Reduction Coalition (ARC) is campaigning for the states of the UN to agree and implement a legally binding instrument, to reduce the amount of resources spent on arms by between 1 and 5 percent for a period of between 10 and 25 years, and to
spend the resources saved on programmes that benefit humanity and the earth. This reasonable proposal is based on
Implementing Article 26 of the UN Charter, which the states of the UN have committed “to promote the establishment and
maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the worlds human and
An extract from ARC Secretary-Karl Millers' speech 'Stop the arms to decisions give cause for concern. This includes equipment licensed Stop the war', at a 2004 European Social Forum workshop. For full text for export to Angola, Cote D'Ivorie, Ghana, Namibia and of speech go to www.arcuk.org, or contact the ARC. Nigeria.
Where Are the Weapons Coming From Many of the arms fuelling conflict within Africa comes from
within the regions. Large quantities of weapons are recycled from I also apologize if my article give the impression that conflict to conflict moving across the continent's porous borders. the UK is the main supplier of Arms to Africa (for One source of arms is the diversion or quick resale of arms example refer to "Prime minister’s Question time imported by one African country and then re-supplied to another: Wednesday 6 Feb 2002" in The UN is in Crisis over for example, arms from Iran diverted via Guinea to Liberian Africa). In "Arms and Conflict in Africa" (IPPR New rebels. Governments also supply other governments and rebel Economy September 2004 Volume 11, Issue 3 groups from their existing stocks." www.ippr.org/ ) David Mepham and Andy Mclean
informs us : In 2003, the US transferred arms to 18 of the 25
countries involved in active conflicts, and 20 of its top "Weapons flows to Africa come from a variety of different sources 25 arms clients in the developing world were described - licit and illicit - and through a wide variety of different means. by the US State Department as either undemocratic or For most of the Cold War period, the patterns of arms transfers having records of major human rights abuses. This was from the superpowers to African allies fighting in proxy wars. information comes from a new report by the Arms After 1990 the pattern changed, with the former Warsaw Pact Trade Resource Center. The report recommends that countries becoming the major source of weapons entering Africa. the US government support the Arms Trade Treaty. As these countries reduced their arsenals, and in some cases 'Weapons at War' is online at upgraded stocks for NATO membership, large supplies of http://www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/wsurplus military equipment became available for sale to developing awjune2005.html countries, including Africa. Economic hardship in Central and
Eastern Europe, the lack of effective arms export legislation It seems I have been understating the case for an ARC and poor law enforcement capacity has also facilitated this trade. treaty. I think the above strengthens the case for
Implementing Article 26 of the UN Charter, in More recently, the main source of arms to Africa has shifted which the states of the UN have committed "to further east, with Belarus, China, Moldova and Ukraine promote the establishment and maintenance of becoming large-scale suppliers. Moldavia is a particular concern international peace and security with the least because of the enormously insecure arsenal of arms in the diversion for armaments of the worlds human and TransDniestra region. economic resources". That is what the Charter of the
United Nations calls for. Some 191 states have signed Of the G8 countries, Russia is the main supplier of Arms
up to the charter. It is full time they live up to their to Africa. Over the last decade it has supplied significant
commitments and responsibility. I am convinced that quantities of equipment to Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Angola.
the most appropriate way forward and the crucial President' Bush's self declared 'war on terror' has introduced a
missing part of the jig-saw puzzle of Disarmament new dimension into weapons transfers in the region, with the US
treaties, resolution and conventions is an ARC providing increasing levels of military assistance to countries in
treaty; in which the United Nations (UN) to agree a North, West and Eastern Africa, despite poor human rights
legally binding instrument requiring UN member States records in some of these countries.
to reduce the amount of resources spent on arms by The UK exports relatively little military equipment to Africa between 1 and 5 percent per year for a period of 10 to (excluding South Africa), but a number of recent licensing 25 years.
"Many more will have to suffer, many more will have to die, "…Who would condemn someone else for taking a don't ask me why" (Bob Marley). social militant path when the peaceful way is barred?" 3
So through what means can the crude equation of security with force and the acquisition of ever more An extract from ARC NGO Liaison Officer-Fidel Asantes' article of the complex weapons be overcome? Very few it might same name. For full text go to www.arcuk.org, or contact the ARC. seem, as there are many who would downplay the Sharing: The first step to security possibility of man voluntarily renouncing the ‘right of might’ entitlement, claiming that such traits are inbuilt "…And if we stand silent and reap the benefits of
within us as some Hobbesian disposition to gross self- injustice, then we ourselves are equally culpable with
interest. But are such traits so imbedded in within us as those who initiated the injustice. " 1
to be indelible…? Id think not, as the case has not yet Jimmy Carter been made forcefully enough for the directive of
sharing as a more stable guarantor of personal and One of the saddest facts of human history has been the global security. continuing use of weaponry as way to resolve differences amongst ourselves, jeopardising not only the necessary 1. From p123 ‘Sources of Strength: Meditations On Scripture For a Living interaction of diverse groups but also the social and Faith’ By Jimmy Carter, 1997, Three Rives Press, New York.
cultural fabric necessary for the stable existence of 2. From Website: .http://projects.sipri.org/milex/mex_world _graph.html (spending figures for 2002). collectives-most of all the family unit. So sad is this state 3. From p192 ‘World Armament & World Hunger’ By Willy of affairs that at present annual global spending on Brandt, 1985 V Gollancz Ltd. weaponry is estimated to be around 800 billion dollars. 2 Intrinsic to human nature is the perpetual search for security, the kind of which that would grant us if only
An extract from ARC Chair-Vijay Mehtas' paper 'Making War History' for for a second, some sense of certainty in a world all too full text go to vmpeace.org or contact ARC. often fraught with uncertainty and the blank reflection
of the unknown. The rapid development of technology Root causes of war since the beginning of the 20th century has instilled in
The culture of violence pervades our society, us a penchant for self-preservation that far outstrips our
glorifying war rather than educating for peace, non-defensive needs by about three or more planet Earth’s,
violence, and international co-operation. let alone those of a modern nation state. We need only
consider the destructive capacities contained in the
The continued military spending (USD $950 billion most modest nuclear arsenal to realise this almost
per annum) in our society perpetuates a culture of suicidal condition.
violence and hostilities. For so long has man equated security with aggression
Small arms and lights weapons (500 million in and survival with proprietorship, that we as a race have
circulation) both start and prolong conflicts, causing failed to implement any viable alternatives that would
millions of deaths. provide us with these hitherto unattainable conditions.
We find ourselves now contemplating a hyper-Production of new mini nukes, buster bunker protectionist world in which the details of all would be bombs and stockpile of existing 30,00 nuclear checked and confirmed before ‘approval’ could grant
warheads, along with proliferation of nuclear and them the type of treatment befitting a human being! On biological information and technology can result in the world finance scene institutional entropy, via the terrorism, indiscriminate mass killing and destruction. stroke of a pen consigns millions to an undignified
death at the hands of ill-suited economic and trade Economic globalisation has marginalised broad legislation. sections of the world’s population, further widening
the gap between rich and poor. Such legislation far from being the indiscriminate fate
of the impoverished has been drafted by human hands The use of environmental resources is neither and can equally be reviewed, rejected and rewritten by sustainable nor un-equitable. The world’s dominant human hands also. To ignore this would be to risk consumers are overwhelmingly concentrated among creating those conditions necessary for terrorism-as the the well off, but the environmental damage from it falls marginalised find few means to alleviate their most severely on the poor, over consumption of the circumstances through any less equally indiscriminate earth’s resources can result in ecological mayhem. means than the systematic carnage of the innocent. One
injustice leads easily to another as Willy Brandt Colonialism and neo-colonialism is evident in recognised when saying: indigenous and un-represented people who are
suffering from the suppression of their right to self-social welfare. By contrast, conflict resolution can determination, ethnic and cultural genocide, the offer much better value for money.
violation of their cultural, language and religious Environmental grounds freedoms, and the militarisation and nuclearisation of War can be devastating to the environment, their lives, lands and waters. destroying vegetation and habitats, causing pollution and scattering debris, sometimes lethal, including Ethnic, religious and racial intolerance, and landmines and depleted uranium. nationalism are among the principal sources of modern armed conflict. Violent conflict can be prevented The costs of the gender injustice and machismo Opportunities to avoid the human suffering and that still pervades most societies are high for men economic costs of war have been missed. There has whose choices are limited by this standard, and for been a failure to defuse potentially violent situations. women who experience continual violence both in war On many occasions in the past, war or violent and in peace. conflict could perhaps have been avoided if more
effort and resources had been channelled into Lack of protection and respect for children & tackling the situation and resolving matters at an youth continue to be exploited and victimised, early stage. There are examples where this has been particularly in violent conflict situations where harming done successfully but in many others nothing has children has become not only a consequence, but been done until too late, or what was done was frequently a strategy of war. under-resourced and insufficient. The lack of democracy and just global
Considerable expertise exists governance at all levels of society are causing
There are many organisations and individuals with a conflicts and replacing the rule of law with the rule of
great deal of expertise in preventing and resolving force.
conflict in a non-violent way and in reconciliation
work. Some have a strongly pacifist philosophy but It is commonly assumed that violence and warfare
most accept that a diverse range of skills, expertise are inherent in human nature.
and activities is needed to transform violent conflict, Violence in local communities paves the way for rebuild civil society and establish real security. The conflicts at national and international levels. armed forces have expertise and a role in some
situation Religions have been a cause of war. Global Public Opinion
Recent surge in global public opinion has witnessed the The role of media in misrepresenting the facts and
power of the people to resist and overcome present flaring conflicts and hostilities.
oppression as well as age-old prejudices of gender
against gender, race against race, religion against Reasons to avoid war religion, and ethnic group against ethnic group. There are many good reasons to avoid war - in this Desire for Decent Living context used to include extensive conflicts involving The desire for a decent living in recent years have physical violence within countries as well as those witnessed an explosion of scientific and technical between countries, whether or not war has been knowledge which make possible a decent life for all who officially declared. inhabit this planet, the formulation of a set of universal
rights which, if taken seriously, would translate that Humanitarian grounds Civilians, possibility into reality, and the infancy of a system of who may have little interest or involvement in the global governance which, if allowed to grow, could guide dispute, suffer when conflicts, whether between this transition. countries, or between communities within a country, escalate into physical violence and war. They suffer both directly from the violence and indirectly from UPCOMING EVENTS the disruption to normal life, food supplies, services and physical and social infrastructure. 10 September
EVERYWHERE. Make Poverty History White Band Day 2 Economic grounds Sunday 11 September War is expensive. The costs of developing LONDON. MANA Concert for Peace with Tony Lamb (clarinet)
and John Flinders (piano). Lauderdale House, Highgate Hill, N6 increasingly high technology weaponry are escalating. 7.30 pm. Info from MANA Administration, 71 Greenfield Military spending diverts resources away from Gardens, London NW2 1HU. 020 8455 1030. combating pollution, environmental destruction and 13 -16 September
"The cause of development and the cause of peace are one." LONDON. ExCel Arms Fair (DSEi) Campaign Against Arms Trade, 11 Goodwin St, London N4 3HQ Tel: +44-(0)20 7281 Louis Fréchette-UN Deputy Secretary-General 0297 Fax: +44-(0)20 7281 4369. http://www.caat.org.uk/ Wednesday 21 September WORLDWIDE. International Day of Peace. In 1981, the General *Taken from 'Share International' magazine, December 2004 edition. + Taken from Assembly declared that the opening day of its regular session in 'Share International' magazine, January 2005 edition. September "shall be officially dedicated and observed as the International Day of Peace and shall be devoted to THE ARMS REDUCTION COALITION (ARC) commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within ARC Patrons and among all nations and peoples" (UN resolution 36/67). See Dennis Haliday also Peace One Day: http://www.peaceoneday.org Bruce Kent Lord Archer of Sandwell Federico Mayor Zaragoza 1 – 8 October Alice Mahon MP WORLDWIDE. Keep Space for Peace week. Linda Melvern http://www.space4peace.org/ or Yorkshire CND: email@example.com or visit: www.yorkshirecnd.org.uk Supporting organisations: Saturday 8 October Action For UN Renewal, Arkadas (Turkey), ATAP (Mozambique), FARINGDON. Launch of ‘Month for Peace’ to celebrate 25 European Youth Forest Action (Netherlands), Forum voor Vredesactie years of Faringdon Peace Group campaigning for peace. Meeting (Belgium), Glencree Centre for Reconciliation (Ireland), Ground Zero centre for Nonviolent Action (USA), London Region CND, Methodist in afternoon with speakers: Bruce Kent, John McDonnell MP and Peace Fellowship, National Consultative Committee on Disarmament Tony Benn. Details: 01367 710308 or chesterton1 @ tiscali.co.uk. (New Zealand), Pax Christi (Denmark), People’s Forum for Human Other events to be announced later. Rights – Bhutan (Nepal), Rettet den Regenwald (Germany), Save the 15 – 16 October World (Nepal), Stichting Vredesburo Eindhoven (Netherlands), Sussex TBC. CND Annual Conference. Peace Alliance, World Disarmament Campaign, Women's International 9 - 16 October League for Peace and Freedom, Fundacion para una Cultura de Paz COUNTRYWIDE. Week of Prayer for World Peace. (Spain) 16 – 23 October Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR), Association for World Citizens COUNTRYWIDE. One World Week. "Promises, promises – (AWC), Rahab Home For Divine Intervention (Nigeria), make poverty history". http://www.oneworldweek.org/ PO Box Khulumani Support Group (South Africa), Network for Peace 2555, Reading RG1 4XW Tel 0118 9394933 Fax 0118 9394936 e-Building Initiatives (Uganda). mail firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail email@example.com Support us 24 – 30 October WORLDWIDE. Disarmament Week. I/We support and endorse __ * the Arms Reduction Coalition http://www.un.org/depts/dhl/disarmament/index.html (ARC) Resolution and wish to become a member __* of ARC 24 October (*Please tick to endorse and /or become a member) th Anniversary. EVERYWHERE. UN Day – 60 Name Organisation representing (if applicable)
POINTS ON PEACE Signature "Those who make peaceful change impossible Make violent Date revolution inevitable." Address President John F. Kennedy "Many of the wars in Africa are fought over natural resources. Ensuring they are not destroyed is a way of ensuring there is no Postcode conflict. In managing our resources… we plant the seeds of Phone peace."* E-mail Nobel Peace Prize Winner-Wangarai Maaithai Website I/We Enclose: "The path of peace is the path of guarantees for the rights of Subscription** ? peoples and the peoples' readiness to defend those rights." Donation ? **Individuals: ?5 (or what you can afford): Fidel Castro to UN Secretary-General U Thant over the Bay of ARC promises not to pass any of your details on to other organisations or Pigs Crisis in 1962. third parties without your expressed permission. **Organisations:?20 (or what you can afford): "It may make people realise that the UN needs to be well- ARC promises not to pass any of your email details on to other equipped and funded. If people diverted money from weapons organisations or third parties without your expressed permission. ARC will and war, we have the technology and money to be able to help automatically include a link to your website on ARC's website unless you if we decide to do that."+ state otherwise. Please link to ARC's website www.arcuk.orgPlease make cheques payable to: ARMS REDUCTION COALITION, and send to ARC Tony Benn-On how the Boxing Day Tsunami opened many Treasurer, POBox 42567, London, E1 2WP peoples eyes to the lack of resources existing in the world.