Rio Appeal on Avaaz: Cut military spending, Fund human needs!


20 years ago, during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the international community connected environmental and development challenges. This connection, now known as sustainable development, was accepted as the challenge of the decade. But peace and disarmament issues were excluded. With the up-coming Rio+20 Summit in June, it's time to include both issues into the discussion!

Disarmament for Development – today’s challenge

In 2011 global military spending amounted to $1740 billion – despite the fact that 1 billion people suffer from hunger, even more do not have access to safe water or adequate health care and education, and even in the developed world millions are without work. The Millennium Development Goals cannot be realized while the world squanders its wealth on militarism.

Today’s climatic and environmental conditions exacerbate this imbalance. In addition, the current economic crisis has made the world’s governments reduce spending on critical human needs and is once again hitting the weakest the hardest.

However, apparently unlimited financial resources seem to be available for military jets, tanks, ships, bombs, missiles, landmines and nuclear weapons. The technological developments in the armaments field are becoming more and more sophisticated and murderous.

How to reverse this process is the challenge of today.

The signatories of this appeal demand that the governments of the world seriously address the neglected issue of peace and disarmament, and agree on a global plan for disarmament for sustainable development at the Rio Summit in June 2012. The freed-up funds should be used for social, economic and ecological programs in all countries. Starting in 2013, military spending should be cut back substantially, that is, by a minimum of 10 percent per annum. The aim is to launch a dynamic towards sustainable development, which could start by establishing an internationally-managed Fund with a capital of more than $150 billion.

This plan for “Disarmament for Sustainable Development” should be announced in the final document of the Rio Summit and should be realized step-by-step under the direction of the United Nations.

Without disarmament, there will be no adequate development.

Without development, there will be no justice, equality and peace.

We must give sustainability a chance.


Sign this petition to urge world governments to address peace and disarmament at the Rio+20 Summit!

This is an initiative of the International Peace Bureau (IPB), the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES), Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF), the World Future Council (WFC) and Viva Rio.

Numerous Nobel Peace Prize laureates have already endorsed the appeal such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jody Williams, and Adolfo Peres Esquivel.

Join the campaign!






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