IPB STATEMENT: Invest in Healthcare Instead of Militarization (EN/FR/DE/ES/SV/FI)

IPB is calling for a dramatic reduction of military spending in favour of healthcare and meeting social needs!

The world’s oldest peace NGO, the Nobel Prize-winning IPB has called on G20 world leaders who are gathering via virtual means this coming week to send a message of peace and solidarity to the world as they address the global health emergency.

This is a time to open a new page in global relations to put geopolitical tensions to one side, to end proxy wars, for a ceasefire in those many conflicts around the world all of which stand to hamper a global solidarity effort.

We have to lift the shadow of war and military brinkmanship which has blighted global cooperation in recent years and work to ensure that a spirit of peace and solidarity prevails.

We are all paying a heavy price for failed leadership and misplaced market-driven practices that have weakened our means to address this emergency, which has hit the weakest hardest.

Healthcare Stress                        

We are now seeing the consequences of underinvesting in healthcare infrastructure, hospitals, and staff. All over the world, health systems are reaching the limits of their strength and heroic front-line staff are under massive pressure.

The coronavirus emergency shows what a weakened state our societies find themselves in to protect the people: a world driven by financialization, shareholder value and austerity have weakened our ability to defend the common good and placed human life in danger on a global scale.

Employees fearful of job and income loss are tempted to go to work sick. Older people are vulnerable and need help. The virus hits the weakest hardest.

We can already draw lessons for the future:

  • Health is a human right for the young and old, for all people in all parts in the world.
  • Healthcare and nursing care must never be slashed or subordinated in the pursuit of profit through privatization.
  • The importance of decent work for all healthcare staff and continued investment in their education and training.

Time for a Global Social Contract

We support the efforts of the trade union movement globally, regionally and nationally, in their call for a new social contract. We support their call for economic measures and resources to protect jobs, incomes, public services, and the welfare of people.

This requires a commitment from the business community to keep people in work and the support they are promised to receive from their governments must be conditional on their adhering to the social contract for job security and incomes.

G20: Priority to Disarmament

The world spends 1.8 trillion dollars on military expenditure every year and is scheduled to spend 1 trillion dollars on new nuclear weapons in the next 20 years.

In addition, billions are spent on military research, money which would be better invested in health and human needs and research to help the fight against global climate change. Militarization is the wrong path for the world to take; it fuels tensions and raises the potential for war and conflict and aggravates already heightened nuclear tensions. World leaders must put disarmament and peace back in the center of policy making! Global leaders have to develop a new agenda for disarmament and that includes the banning of nuclear weapons. We call once again for governments to sign on to the TPNW.

Disarmament is one of the keys to the great transformation of our economies, to ensure that human beings and not profit are most valued; economies in which ecological challenges – above all the crisis of climate change – will be solved and global social justice will be pursued.

With disarmament the implementation of the SDGs, a global social contract, and a new global green peace deal, we can address the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

That is why we say that an initiative from the G20 to move away from a culture of militarization towards a culture of peace is both urgent and necessary.

Read the whole statement on our website or download it in English, SpanishFrenchGerman, Swedish, or Finnish.

IPB Supports António Guterres’ Call for a #GlobalCeaseFireNow