Boykottaufruf gegen Rüstungskonzerne
Neue Initiative der Friedensbewegung
Von Reiner Braun, Alexandria *
Auf der Konferenz »Bücher oder Bomben« des International Peace Bureau (IPB) in der berühmten Bibliothek von Alexandria (Ägypten) hat sich der ehemalige stellvertretende UN-Generalsekretär und neu gewählte Vorsitzende der Internationalen Pugwash-Bewegung, Jayantha Dhanapala, jetzt mit einem bemerkenswerten Aufruf an die Öffentlichkeit gewandt.
Nach erfolgreichen Boykottaktionen wie jener gegen das Apartheidregime in Südafrika stehe wieder eine langfristig angelegte Kampagne der Friedensbewegung und anderer sozialer Bewegungen auf der Tagesordnung, um das tägliche Sterben von Zehntausenden Menschen im und für den Krieg zu beenden, so Dhanapala in Alexandria. Angesichts der dramatischen Steigerung der Rüstungsausgaben auf 1,3 Billionen Dollar im Jahr 2007, angesichts des extensiv wachsenden Rüstungsexports und neuer Waffenentwicklungspläne in vielen Industrie- und Schwellenländern auf der einen und Hunger, Armut, Krankheiten auf der anderen Seite rief er zum Boykott der 25 größten Rüstungskonzerne der Welt auf. Nur so ließen sich die im Jahre 2000 formulierten Millenniumsziele der UNO überhaupt noch erreichen. Nur so könne auch die soziale Verantwortung der Industrie effektiv eingefordert werden.
Dhanapala präsentierte eine genaue Liste der Konzerne und ihrer Milliardenumsätze. Er wandte sich mit dem Appell an die sozialen Bewegungen der Welt, in einer neuen Koalition die Pläne für eine solche Kampagne zu entwerfen und sie Schritt für Schritt umzusetzen, Er forderte die Wissenschaft und die Gewerkschaften auf, für die Mitarbeiter dieser Konzerne Konversionspläne zu entwickeln.
In der Diskussion wurde von Seiten des Internationalen Netzwerkes von Wissenschaftlern und Ingenieuren (INES) betont, dass diese Kampagne auch auf die drastische Einschränkung der Rüstungsforschung zielen müsse. Es sei notwendig, diese Art von Todesforschung umgehend von den öffentlichen Universitäten zu verbannen.
Wie Dhalaphala betonte, sei »das Engagement der Bürgerbewegungen ein entscheidender Faktor für langfristige internationale Veränderungen geworden«. Die über 150 Teilnehmer aus mehr als 20 Ländern sahen in dem Appell des Präsidenten der Pughwash-Konferenz eine große Chance, mit einer gemeinsamen Initiative die Friedensbewegung zu stärken. Die Kampagne könne bei Akzeptanz der Vielfalt der Themen und Aktionsformen ein für alle verbindendes Element darstellen. Die Konferenz rief zur weltweiten Diskussion der Idee auf. Die großen internationalen Friedenstreffen der nächsten Monate sind da eine gute Gelegenheit, diese Gedanken zu vertiefen und »kampagnefähig« zu machen.
Konzerne Umsätze in Mrd. Dollar
* Aus: Neues Deutschland, 20. November 2007
Dokumentation der Rede von Jayantha Dhanapala (englisch)
Statement by Jayantha Dhanapala
Boeing (USA) 28,05
- Northdrop Grumman (USA) 27,59
- Lockheed Martin (USA) 26,46
- BAE Systems (UK) 23,23
- Raytheon (USA) 19,80
- General Dynamics (USA) 16,57
- Finmeccanica (Italien) 9,80
- EADS (Europa) 9,58
- L-3 Communications (USA) 8,97
- Thales (Frankreich) 8,94
- United Technologies Corp. (USA) 6,84
- SAIC (USA) 5,06
- DCN (Frankreich) 3,52
- Rolls Royce (UK) 3,47
- Computer Sciences Corp. (USA) 3,40
- ITT Industries (USA) 3,19
- General Electric (USA) 3,00
- Honeywell International (USA) 2,94
- Halliburton (USA) 2,72
- SAFRAN (Frankreich) 2,63
- Dassault Aviation Groupe (Frankreich) 2,21
- Mitshubishi Heavy Industries (Japan) 2,19
- SAAB (Schweden) 2,11
- Aliant Techsystems (USA) 2,06
- Harris (USA) 1,87
DISARMAMENT AND DEVELOPMENT AT THE GLOBAL LEVEL
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am overwhelmed and humbled by this award of the Sean MacBride
Prize from the International Peace Bureau. I begin by paying tribute
to the memory of Sean MacBride – a great twentieth century figure
who moved from being an Irish revolutionary onto the stage of
international affairs, first as Foreign Minister of Ireland, and, later, as
a senior United Nations official. He then helped set up many civil
society organizations like Amnesty International and the
International Commission of Jurists.
I must quote to you the words from his speech when he received the
Nobel Peace Prize – words which are so relevant to those engaged in
the so-called “war against terrorism” today – “If those vested with
authority and power practice injustice, resort to torture and killing, is it not
inevitable that those who are the victims will react with similar methods?
This does not condone savagery or inhuman conduct but it does provide part
of the explanation for the increasing violence and brutality of our world.”
I thank the IPB for the honour they have conferred on me and
dedicate this award to the innocent civilians who are the helpless
victims of conflicts throughout the world.
May I now move to my main presentation?
It is an honour and a pleasure to address such a distinguished
audience at the Annual Seminar of the International Peace Bureau in
this historic city of Alexandria – the Pearl of the Mediterranean. The
International Peace Bureau is the world’s oldest and most
comprehensive civil society coalition dedicated to the cause of peace
and disarmament. It was founded in 1891 and was awarded the
Nobel Peace Prize in 1910. The fact that we meet in this ancient
capital of Alexandria, founded in 331 B.C., and on the site of the
famous library which has been known as a beacon of learning and
culture for the entire world, heightens the significance of this
But antiquity and past laurels alone are not sufficient when we are
confronted with the formidable challenges to humanity in today’s
world. It is vital, of course, that we draw lessons from past
experience and the wisdom of our forbears in order to re-tool our
skills and re-focus our energies on today’s problems. The focus of
today’s Seminar is entirely appropriate – “Books or Bombs?
Sustainable Disarmament for Sustainable Development.” For we are
in fact addressing the primordial debate in human history on the
trade-off between allocations of resources for guns and for butter. It
is a reflection of the inherent dichotomy in human nature between
the propensity for violence and war and the yearning for peace and
stability. More recently, we have seen this debate in terms of the
demands for disarmament, so that resources can be released for
much needed development to usher in a safer and a better world. In
the context of our Seminar, what I mean by “Sustainable
Disarmament” is the total and verifiable elimination of all weapons
of mass destruction and the regulation of conventional weapons to
the lowest possible levels to ensure security.
Before we proceed further, let us look at the facts. The Stockholm
International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)) in its latest Year Book
estimates that world military expenditure in 2006 reached $ 1204
billion in current US dollars. This surpasses cold war military
expenditure levels at a time when there are no antagonisms among
the great powers of the world. This figure translates into $ 184 per
every man, woman and child on this earth. That is a shocking
contrast to the fact that one billion people live under one dollar per
day which is the accepted bench mark for absolute poverty in this
world. Almost ten million children die every year before their fifth
birth day from preventable causes. This will require a fraction of
current global military expenditure to remedy. The entire set of eight
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving
extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing
universal primary education - will entail an annual investment of $
40-60 billion to achieve by the target date of 2015. $ 5.8 trillion was
spent on the US nuclear programme from 1940 through 1996. The
costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have gone into hundreds of
billion of dollars. I would invite you to look at a website
“www.nationalpriorities.org” which, even as you view it, shows the
costs of the Iraq war escalating in nano seconds and compares it with
what that expenditure can achieve in the US alone in public housing,
public education, pre-schools, children’s health and college
scholarships. Extrapolate these figures on a global basis and you will
see the opportunity costs of global military expenditure in terms of
what we can do to reduce poverty, disease, mal-nutrition, bad
sanitation and most other problems associated with
While identifying the main sources of the problem of over armament
and underdevelopment in the world is important, we must share a
collective guilt. My own country – Sri Lanka – has had to increase its
defence budget in order to combat the problem of terrorism.
However, the incontrovertible fact is that of the global military
expenditure of $ 1204 billion, the share of the USA is 46%, the UK 5%,
France 5%, China 4%, Japan 4%, with many other countries
following. Viewed regionally, while North America accounts for 47%
of military spending, Western Europe accounts for 22%, Asia 15%
and the Middle East 6%. The arms sales of the hundred largest arms
producing companies in the world reached an estimated $ 290 billion
in 2005. SIPRI’s list of the twenty five biggest arms producing
companies shows that they are all from the developed countries of
the industrialized northern hemisphere. The ten largest exporters of
major conventional weapons in the period 2002 to 2006 were USA
with 30.2%, Russia with 28.9%, Germany 8.6%, France 8.3% followed
by the UK, The Netherlands, Italy, China, Sweden and Israel. The
biggest importing countries of major conventional weapons in the
same period were China and India. The trend in the volume of
transfers in major conventional weapons during this period shows a
50% increase. The rising costs of developing large and sophisticated
conventional weapon systems are making countries dependent on
others for weapons and weapon technologies. This is placing a heavy
strain on the economies of countries. At the same time non-state
actors and terrorist groups are buying their arms from the arms
producing companies either directly or through clandestine means.
The other important statistic that we must bear in mind is that
conflicts in the world are increasingly intrastate and not interstate. In
2006, seventeen major armed conflicts raged in the world, none of
which were interstate. This highlights the role of non-state actors and
terrorist groups in armed conflict and compels us to look for the root
causes of conflict - specially, as they affect developing countries. The
concept of security has broadened today to embrace peace and
security, development and human rights. It is this tripod that
supports human security and sustainable development. Like in any
tripod, every leg is vital and indispensable. Military expenditure
corrodes every leg of the tripod – perpetuating poverty and fuelling
Despite this undeniable fact, international relations have become so
specialized that we do not always keep this fundamental inter-
relationship among the three components of security in focus. The
community of disarmament experts talk to each other but seldom talk
to the community of development experts. Likewise, the human
rights experts and NGOs in that community operate in a closed circle,
forgetting that the right to life and the right to development are also
essential human rights. We do not therefore have a dialogue which
transcends the artificial boundaries drawn among these subjects of
disarmament, development and human rights. We have to
mainstream human security by integrating the various aspects of
security. The United Nations and other international and regional
organizations suffer from the same problems of rigid
compartmentalization – in their structures and in their functioning.
My own ten year experience working within the UN made it clear
that co-ordination was the most difficult objective to achieve.
Perhaps, for the first time an attempt has begun with the Peace
Building Commission where, finally, the UN has grasped the
importance of an integrated approach to ensure that after the peace
keepers have left, we can have a realistic chance of a durable peace
with an integrated approach for post conflict recovery. Political,
economic, human rights, disarmament, institution building and other
aspects must go together in ensuring a durable peace, so that no
longer will we have past conflicts reviving in countries where they
have taken place. That is the path we all need to take, if we are to
make an impact in achieving sustainable peace.
Extensive research has been conducted on the relationship between
conflicts and poverty, especially after the cold war and the proxy
wars that were a pattern of that period. The intra-state conflicts that I
spoke of earlier have stemmed from economic, ethnic and religious
differences and have at worst assumed the forms of terrorism,
warlordism and gangsterism. Four main causes emerge from the
literature of scholars examining the causes of conflict today. They
are: (1) Modernization – the reaction against rapid development that
creates inequity and gaps between the rich and the poor threatening
traditional ways of life, (2) Dependency – the reaction of some
countries to a perception that global capitalism is being imposed on
them, (3) Mobilization – where disaffected groups mobilize and resist
oppressive state action, and (4) Stagnation – where poverty and
deprivation force groups to fight against existing governments.
In all these instances, poverty contributes towards conflict and
terrorism. It breeds despair and desperation compelling the poor,
especially the youth, to be tempted or forced into violence.
The linkage between environment and development has long been
recognized. There is a consensus today on sustainable development.
We are now faced with a new problem and that is climate change.
The climate projection models used by the Intergovernmental Panel
of Climate Change (IPCC) and their reports, which earned them the
Nobel Peace Prize of 2007, point to the fact that abnormalities and
climatic disasters will become more intensive and frequent and that
the poor of the world will have to bear the brunt of climate change in
the future. The forthcoming 2007 Human Development Report,
while describing climate change as the defining human development
challenge of the 21st Century, states that “the poorest countries and
the most vulnerable citizens will suffer the earliest and most
damaging set backs, even though they have contributed least to the
problem.” There is every likelihood that the impact of climate
change, from which no country will be immune, will lead to
increased competition for diminishing resources, and therefore to
increased conflict. We have to act now to prevent that.
Thus the contemporary relationship between disarmament and
development is far more complex than it has been in the past. What
has the international community, and in particular the United
Nations, done about this? I believe firmly that in our world of inter-
dependence, global problems can only be solved by multi-lateral
diplomacy. The UN is at the apex of the multi-lateral diplomatic
system. But it is also at the cross roads between realpolitik and the
pursuit of aggressive national interest, and a norm based world
order. Reconciling power-based realism with what is in the
co-operative and collective global interest remains a central
challenge. Thus, the UN has been no more successful in addressing
the problem of mis-allocation of resources for arms in relation to
development needs than in any other areas. The UN Charter, written
after two of the bloodiest world wars human-kind has ever
experienced, provides us with guidance with regard to what we must
do. While providing for the inherent right of self-defence in Article
51 and the collective defence of international peace and security in
Chapter 7, the Charter un-equivocally seeks the achievement of
international peace and security “with the least diversion for armaments
of the world’s human and economic resources.”
However, it was not until
1978 in the UN General Assembly’s First Special Session devoted to
Disarmament (SSOD 1) that the world agreed on the relationship
between arms expenditure and development in the following words:
“In a world of finite resources there is a close relationship between
expenditure on armaments and economic and social development
…. (arms expenditure) diverts to military purposes not only
material but also technical and human resources which are urgently needed for development in all countries, particularly in
the developing countries.”
Almost a decade later, mainly on the initiative of the Non-Aligned
Movement, an International Conference on the Relationship between
Disarmament and Development was convened in 1987 in New York.
It was attended by 150 countries with the conspicuous absence of the
USA. The final document adopted by that Conference stated, and I
quote, “The world can either continue to pursue the arms race with
characteristic vigour or move consciously and with deliberate speed
towards a more stable and balanced social and economic
development within a more sustainable international economic and
political order; it cannot do both.”
Following that Conference, Resolutions were adopted every year at
the UN General Assembly drawing the attention of Member States to
the final document and urging the implementation of its conclusions.
When I assumed charge of the re-established Department of
Disarmament Affairs at the request of Kofi Annan in 1998, I resolved
to bring the issue of disarmament and development to the fore-front
from the back burner to which it had been relegated by the malign
neglect of the international community and the complacency of
developing countries. A high level Steering Committee comprising
the Administrator of UNDP, the Under Secretaries General of the
Departments of Economic and Social Affairs, Peace Keeping
Operations and Disarmament Affairs was established to co-ordinate
initiatives. On the basis of the work of the Steering Committee, a UN
General Assembly Resolution was adopted setting up a Group of
Governmental Experts to re-appraise the relationship between
disarmament and development and the Report of that Study was
issued in 2004. It was important to take into account the international
changes that had taken place since the 1987 Conference, especially
with globalization, the end of the cold war, the proliferation of small
arms and the problems of non-state actors. The Report has made an
important contribution towards our understanding of how
disarmament and development can contribute towards building a
world free from want and fear. The changed international context
was described and the opportunity for new initiatives was studied.
The peace dividend that was anticipated after the cold war ended,
was seen to have had little impact on the widening global poverty
gap. Underdevelopment and poverty continued and the poor were
becoming poorer. The need for funding to meet the Millennium
Development Goals requires an increase of Official Development
Assistance (ODA) by $ 50 billion per year. The Report stated that
“Disarmament and development are two distinct, yet mutually reinforcing, process that are linked by security in all its aspects both should be pursued regardless of the pace of progress in the other; one should not be made hostage to the
Clearly the objective is to maintain security at lower levels of
armaments. Every country has legitimate security interests. But the
regulation of armaments in relation to financial, human and physical
resources needed for development should be a policy guideline. The
policy choices of states depend on threat perceptions. Transparency
in weapons holdings and a more secure and stable international
system are therefore vital.
In its recommendations the study emphasized the importance of
multi-lateral approaches, the central role of the UN and the
implementation of multi-lateral arms control agreements and
development commitments. While combating terrorism, the
Member States of the UN were urged to incorporate disarmament
and security concerns in their poverty reduction strategies. The
contribution of disarmament to the implementation of MDGs was
identified as an important policy objective. A series of other
measures were also recommended to Member States in
mainstreaming the disarmament-development relationship and
raising awareness of it in the international community.
Since then, we have had the same Resolution adopted every year in
the UN as before. In other words, it has been business as usual with
the Resolution sponsored by the Non-Aligned Movement updating
itself by reference to the Report of the Group of Governmental
Experts inviting Members to provide information on the
implementation of the recommendations and, almost ritualistically,
requesting that the item be tabled in the agenda of the next General
Assembly. So, that is the way in which the global community deals
at the United Nations with the relationship between disarmament
and development – not with a bang but with a whimper!
Ladies & Gentlemen, after a long career representing my government
as a diplomat and working for the international community as an
international civil servant, I am deeply convinced that it is civil
society, and civil society alone, that can initiate change in the current
global world order. It is a belief that Sean MacBride held and which
he stated clearly in his Nobel Peace Prize Lecture. The banality of the
most recent Resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly’s First
Committee on the Relationship between disarmament and
development indicates the limits of action that can be achieved by the
nation states of this world. Some years ago, the New York Times
described Civil Society as “the other Super Power”. Indeed, it is a
Super Power that does not realize its capabilities. Jody Williams and
the International Campaign to Ban Land Mines (ICBLM) used the e-
mail to begin a groundswell that led ultimately to the Mine Ban
Convention. It is organizations like the International Peace Bureau
and the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, which I
am now privileged to lead, that can mobilize international public
opinion on the urgent issues of the day, such as, the need to eliminate
nuclear weapons, to reduce military expenditure, to combat climate
change and to reduce poverty and underdevelopment.
The Wall Street Journal of the 4th of January this year published an
op-ed article written by George Schultz, William Perry, Henry
Kissinger and Sam Nunn which calls for US leadership to take the
world “to a solid consensus for reversing reliance on nuclear
weapons globally as a vital contribution to preventing their
proliferation into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately ending
them as a threat to the world.” It went on to describe the doctrine of
deterrence as obsolete and called for a world without nuclear
weapons for which the leaders of nuclear weapons states must work
together. This initiative was supported shortly thereafter by former
President Gorbachev and later by the UK Foreign Secretary. A
Conference held in Stanford at the end of last month has followed up
on this initiative and there is a real prospect that we may have the
work of this influential group impact on the policy of the new
Administration elected in the USA in November 2008. We, as civil
society, have also to prepare for the changes of political leadership
that will take place next year in the US and Russia, while persuading
the new leaders in other key countries to take action on disarmament
and development. We cannot afford to wait until leaders retire from
positions of power and prestige to experience their personal
epiphanies and changes of heart. We have to demand that those now
holding power – and especially those who are elected by the people –
must respond to the issues of all the peoples of the world for
substantial reductions in military expenditures which contribute to
conflicts and to their diversion for economic and social development.
It is not enough for this Seminar to end with pious exhortations and
homilies. Earlier this year, we celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the
Abolition of Slavery which at one stage of human history seemed a
permanent institution in global affairs. But the work of William
Wilberforce and his supporters changed that ugly aspect of
international affairs. Likewise, we have seen the elimination of
colonialism and apartheid. This was achieved through the work of
conscientious groups of individuals who mobilized public opinion.
We, in the IPB can achieve the same results with regard to
persuading policy makers to engage in policies of sustainable
disarmament for sustainable development. But we can do more than
this. I propose that we target the 25 biggest arms producing
companies in the world, identified in the SIPRI Year Book of 2007, for
a systematic and sustained boycott in the same way as the anti-
apartheid movement boycotted the then minority white racist
government of South Africa helping to bring about the transition to a
non-racial democracy led by Nelson Mandela. Shareholders,
investors and employees – and especially the scientists - of these 25
companies must feel the pressure of international public opinion. It
may take 5 years; it may take 10 years - but it has to be done for the
greatest good of the greatest number. I give you the list of these arms
producing companies and the arm sales they made in 2005. This
organized and sustained boycott will make a practical contribution
towards ensuring that the companies accept a sense of corporate
social responsibility to the rest of the world and make their
contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development
Goals. We will need a coalition of like minded civil society groups to
study, plan and implement the boycott. But let us make a start here
and now. Civil society activism is a vital factor in today’s
international relations. We are following in the footsteps of Mahatma
Gandhi, Martin Luther King and others.
Here are the 25 companies:
Boeing (USA) $ 28, 050 m.
- Northrop Grumman (USA) $ 27, 590 m.
- Lockheed Martin (USA) $ 26, 460 m.
- BAE Systems (UK) $ 23, 230 m.
- Raytheon (USA) $ 19, 800 m.
- General Dynamics (USA) $ 16, 570 m.
- Finmeccanica (Italy) $ 9, 800 m.
- EADS (Europe) $ 9, 580 m.
- L-3 Communications (USA) $ 8, 970 m.
- Thales (France) $ 8, 940 m.
- United Technologies Corp. (USA) $ 6, 840 m.
- SAIC (USA) $ 5, 060 m.
- DCN (France) $ 3, 520 m.
- Rolls Royce (UK) $ 3, 470 m.
- Computer Sciences Corp. (USA) $ 3, 400 m.
- ITT Industries (USA) $ 3, 190 m.
- General Electric (USA) $ 3, 000 m.
- Honeywell International (USA) $ 2, 940 m.
- Halliburton (USA) $ 2, 720 m.
- SAFRAN (France) $ 2, 630 m.
- Dassault Aviation Groupe (France) $ 2, 210 m.
- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Japan) $ 2, 190 m.
- Saab (Sweden) $ 2, 110 m.
- Alliant Techsystems (USA) $ 2, 060 m.
- Harris (USA) $ 1, 870 m.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
Sir Isaac Newton once said – “If I have seen a little further, it is by
standing on the shoulders of giants”. Here in this historic city and in
this historic Bibliotheca Alexandrina, let us attempt to develop a
vision of a better world, building on the accumulated wisdom of the
I thank you.
Jayantha Dhanapala is a former UN Under-Secretary General
and a former Ambassador of Sri Lanka. He is currently Chairman
of the UN University Council and President of the Pugwash
Conferences on Science and World Affairs. The views expressed
here are personal to him.
INTERNATIONAL PEACE BUREAU
Annual Seminar: BOOKS OR BOMBS?
SUSTAINABLE DISARMAMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
November 11-12, 2007.
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