Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS)

Contact information:

Website: gcoms.org (also demilitarize.org one is redirected to the other)
Contact person(s): Jordi Calvo and Quique Sánchez at coordination.gcoms@ipb.org
Social media: Facebook   Twitter   Instagram
Other websites of reference:

Mission:

The Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS) is a year-round international campaign founded in December 2014 and promoted by the International Peace Bureau after the success of the Global Days of Action (GDAMS), that have been an annual occurrence since 2011.

The main goal of the campaign is to raise awareness and change the discourse regarding military spending as a means to achieve major reductions of military expenditures all around the world.

Most people would agree that warmongering and arms racing make of the world an increasingly dangerous place, but this has yet to become a major item of political discourse and agenda. Militarization is accelerating at an alarming rate at a time when it should be drastically reduced in order to tackle the grave challenges humanity is facing. Most countries in the world are diverting huge amounts of resources to the military sector, leaving basic needs such as food, health, education or employment, or environmental emergencies like global warming, dramatically under-funded. Global military spending amounted to $1,82 trillion in 2018, a figure that does not respond to human needs nor security and that could instead be used to implement comprehensive programmes such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, grave challenges as though climate change, migrations and inequality are not only being neglected, but they’re receiving an increasingly militarised response. Pressure to spend more and more taxpayers money on weapons systems and warfare is therefore growing.

GCOMS is confronting all this through the cooperative efforts of peace groups around the globe, fostering synergies among them both regionally and internationally, in order to gradually strengthen the global movement challenging war and militarism.

There are different ways people can get involved with GCOMS, and both groups and individuals working for peace are more than welcome to join the campaign.

Although actions and events take place all year round, the most active period is the GDAMS, when more than a hundred actions are carried out in over 30 countries of all 5 continents. Each peace group contributes with their own strategy and approach, depending on their means, vision and context, all this resulting in a wide range of actions, which include street protests/demonstrations, seminars, press conferences, joint statements, interviews, workshops, stalls, leafleting, petitions, letters, peace vigils, penny polls, school rallies or online campaigning.

You can find out more about our partners here, and on how to get involved here.

After you have read this introduction, click the blue “View Coming Events” calendar button and you may find opportunities to participate in saving our world. If your group is planning a relevant event, we welcome your contribution to the calendar.
And join the discussion! Please wait a few seconds for the comments to load at the bottom of this page. Then read the ideas other people have shared and reply or add your own knowledge. Thanks!
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Check out this new infographic from the Global Campaign on Military Spending, released for the Global Day of Action on Military Spending -GDAMS- 2020.
(Thank you to Professor Metta Spencer for sharing this with me via e-mail.)

Link: http://demilitarize.org/resources/gdams-healthcare-not-warfare-infographic/

Infographic-Healthcare-Not-Warfare-GDAMS-3.jpg

This campaign tries to bring attention to an issue widely overlooked that however has a huge impact in our societies. Military spending is not only a key issue in terms of opportunity cost (what we could be doing with that money!), but also as the fuel of a militarization process that worsens and is at the root of many of the grave challenges humanity faces, like armed conflicts, migrations, inequality or climate change. It is therefore essential to put military spending in the political agenda through a discourse that connects the dots between different emergencies and forms of violence, offering at the same time alternatives that are more peaceful, sustainable and just. 

Has IPB taken a position on NATO? In Canada many peace groups are divided on the question of whether to support NATO and work inside it to force it to change its policies on nuclear weapons, or whether to insist that Canada quit NATO entirely. I suppose since Macron has declared NATO “brain dead,” there must be an equivalent conversation among European peace activists as to whether to encourage the replacement of NATO with a new alliance in which the US does not belong, or whether to oppose all military alliances. Can someone please tell us how you are thinking?

Agreed. Maybe the timing would change if we looked at preventing and solving conflicts instead of winning them. I think we would need to start looking at problems earlier, so as to nip them in the bud before they got to a stage where it is so difficult to resolve them. That would affect budget planning too. Funnel money into problems “upstream” early enough to prevent the crises.