Joan Russow (PhD) Global Compliance Research Project

In editorials, and commentaries, there has been a call for an increase in
the Military budget. In 1996 I attended the Habitat II Conference in
Istanbul, and addressed the delegates through proposing the following
resolution for a substantial reduction of the Global Military budget in the
context of previous commitments made through international agreements and
General Assembly resolutions. I will be attending the Habitat II +5 meeting
in New York, from June 4 to June 9 and I will  try to again present the
proposed  resolution.

There ,must be the international political will to make fundamental global
change to provide for essential needs. Both humans and ecosystems have
basic identifiable needs for survival and quality of life and function.

Concerned that currently (1996) the Global Community spends $860 billion on
the military budget at a time when the right to housing, the right to food,
the right to health care, the right to equality of all , the right to
education, the right to safe drinking water, and the right to a safe
environment have not been fulfilled.

Noting that the commitment was made to transfer a substantial proportion of
the military budget to social programs ( as undertaken through expectations
created in
General Assembly resolutions from 1981)

Noting also that in 1981, in General Assembly resolution entitled the
reduction of the military budget, the majority of the member states did the

(i)  reaffirmed the urgent need to reduce the military budget, and agreed
to freeze and reduce the military budget.

(ii) Recognised that the military budget constituted a heavy burden for the
economies of all nations, and have extremely harmful consequences on
international peace and security.

(iii) undertook to make a collective effort aimed at strengthening peace
and international security by eliminating the threat of war.

(iv) Reiterated the appeal to all States, in particular the most heavily
armed States, pending the conclusion of agreements on the reduction of
military expenditures, to exercise self-restraint in their military
expenditures with a view to reallocating the funds thus saved to economic
and social development, particularly for the benefit of developing countries

Reminded that this request for transfer of the funds from the military
budget was further reinforced in a 1983 General Resolution on the
Relationship between disarmament and development, that curbing the arms
build-up would make it possible to release additional resources for use in
economic and social development, particularly for the benefit of the
developing countries. Also in this resolution state considered that the
magnitude of military expenditures is now such that their various
implications can no longer be ignored in the efforts pursued in the
international community to secure the recovery of the world economy and the
establishment of a new international economic order.

We call upon the member states of the United Nations
o to immediately reduce the military budget to at least 50% of what it
currently is and to transfer these funds into socially equitable and
environmentally sound development
o to embark on plans for military conversion with the remaining 50%, and
with the setting up of alternative structures for preventing conflict and
war through an international regime that respects the rule of international
law, and through establishing an international court of compliance where
citizens could take evidence of state non-compliance with international law

Joan Russow
250 598-0071
1230 St. Patrick St.
Victoria, B.C. V8S4Y4