In preparation for the IPB World Congress 2016, in the discussion of objectives and content, the following elements have been developed:
- We are living on one single Planet Earth but exploiting its resources as if we had three. We are facing a crisis of civilization, which is even more far–reaching than an ecological and economic crisis.
- There is a need for a ‘great transformation’ and among the absolutely necessary conditions is the reallocation of military expenditure. The transformation implies the end of militarism in favor of a culture of peace, and hence the peace movement must play an important and indeed, leading, role.
- No such transformation and indeed no sustainable world is possible without moving billions of dollars from war to peace, and without removing the scourge of militarism. These challenges require critical thinking about the western-oriented development models, and a search for the end of the many forms of exclusion. They also demand new definitions of democracy, participation, knowledge and of both science and culture.
- The newly-developed Post-2015 SDGs must include the disarmament of an over- armed world. This has implications for how (and by whom) development should be funded. The disarmament process requires the growth of trust and international solidarity in opposition to the model of competition and tension, which risks leading ultimately to apocalypse.
- Ecological challenges cannot be solved without stopping preparations for war (which destroys both nature and people). We need to move the money from the most destructive sector to the survival of the biosphere, and with it, the survival of human beings. There is no solution to climate change without disarmament, no CO2-free world without cooperation. Moving the money to renewable energy also means overcoming the carbon and the nuclear eras. These are themes we will be working on, both prior to and following the COP21 Conference to be held in Paris in December 2015.
- Decent work to satisfy humanity’s needs: moving the money towards a sustainable green economy without growth. Such an economy is impossible with military spending. The task is to find ways to bring military industry towards zero. Quality sustainable economic development and military spending are not compatible. Move the money means offering a future to the youth.
- Saving the planet means ending the nuclear danger: move the money from nuclear weapons modernisation to freedom from hunger.
- Overcoming armed conflicts: moving the money that is already ‘deployed’ in the hotspots of the world towards prevention and peace research.
- Disarmament means democracy and participation – we need to show why and how. Not least this implies developing a gender perspective both on the military system, and on the models of peacemaking and development being promoted to replace it.
- The Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS) is more than simply about cuts in the military budget, it is also:
- Conversion to a civilian-oriented economy;
- An end to military research;
- Technological development to actively promote peace;
- Creating work for humanitarian solutions and sustainability in general;
- Development cooperation and prevention and resolution of violent conflicts;
- Demilitarisation of minds – new ways of thinking for all.
- Ultimately, a great transformation implies an alternative use of resources: Investing in a society of justice and sustainability. We need to elaborate comprehensive visionary descriptions of the path to take. Building a culture of peace.
IPB is conscious of the need to develop effective and realistic strategies for change; to share practical skills in advocacy, media work and campaigning; and to build a mutually supportive community. All three aspects will be features of the Congress program.