Friday, September 22, 2006

Who Wins This?

  • £561bn - What the world spends on arms.
  • £32bn - What the world gives in aid.
  • £275bn - Total debt of developing countries.

Something striking about those figures here in the 6th year of the 21st century.

The figures are published today by Oxfam, Amnesty International and the International Action Network on Small Arms who are calling on world leaders to tighten controlson the weapons trade.

The charities are launching their campaign as the UN gathers in New York. It will be considering a draft resolution on the treaty next month.

America and the Middle East are responsible for much of the rise in spending on arms, but some of Africa's poorest countries - the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Botswana and Uganda - have all doubled their military spending in the past 20 years. Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan spent more on weapons than on health care between 2002 and 2003.

Clearly there is some money to be made in killing and destruction. I would have thought that by now we would have learnt better. My father used to say that "If you give a man some food, he has to put his gun down to eat it, and if the food is sufficient, then he won't want to pick it up". I know that can sound a bit 'kitchen sink' in its philosophy, but I think he nailed it with the idea that if all peoples were content in life, there wouldn't be the wars we have now.

Clearly, the only winners are those who pocket the profits and their friends.

1 comment:

sandegaye said...

Staggering numbers!
And still we keep stuffing the pockets of Halliburton & their ilk.
Just shameful.