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.