WRI's goal in campaigning against war profiteering is to end ALL forms of war profiteering. I have been reminded of this in the past weeks in the discussions around the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) and the Arms Trade Treaty.
On 15 April there were more than 120 actions worldwide as part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, an initiative coordinated by the International Peace Bureau (IPB). The day of action coincided with the annual release of SIPRI's figures on military spending. According to SIPRI, in the last year there was a slight decrease (0.5%) of the world military expenditure. However, China - the second largest spender in 2012 - increased its expenditure by 7.8 per cent ($11.5 billion). Russia - the third largest spender - increased its expenditure by 16 per cent ($12.3 billion). Annual world military spending continues at around $1.5 trillion dollars. WRI released a statement in support of the day of action, and helped to coordinate and promote activities. You can read report from the various events on this site.
According to the Control Arms Coalition, which lobbied for a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), we have reached “the dawn of a new era” now that the UN General Assembly has adopted the treaty. With this treaty, “history has been made” and we “finally can end arms exports to human rights violators.” Critical voices are put aside as “the tiny minority of sceptics who were intent on wrecking the process” and the blame for the initial failure to adopt the treaty is put on Iran, Syria and North Korea. UN Secretary-General called the treaty “a victory for the people of the world”. With such oversimplified communication one cannot escape the impression that some people try to clamour down their own doubt.
It's very difficult to stand up against the chaebol, the large conglomerate companies. In the past decades, such conglomerates have been gaining ever greater power. Through its pro-market reforms, the government has provided much support for their growth. The law even protects big conglomerates from getting prosecuted for abuse of power or corruption. While I understood these realities intellectually, I only began to personally experience the significance of the current situation during the peace action against Samsung C&T.
While it is increasingly clear that climate change is an irreversible processes that will hit people and the environment hard, the defence industry sees new profit opportunities. "I think climate change is a real opportunity for the aerospace and defense industry," said Lord Drayson, then British Minister of State for Strategic Defence Acquisition Reform, in 2009. New markets are emerging.
Statement issued on 16 April 2013 (original in Arabic)
We, civic and human rights organizations of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, in mobilization for Palestinian Prisoners’ Day this year, call for the boycott of the G4S company in the Arab World because of its involvement in Israeli occupation and oppression.
Every year, the European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT) meets to discuss the latest developments in the arms trade and military industries. The 2013 annual meeting will take place in Zurich, Switzerland, from the 14th - 16th of June.
The annual meetings are also a great place to swap ideas about strategies and campaigns to confront war profiteers. Arms export policy still remains primarily an issue of national regulations, but the military industry works internationally. The ENAAT meeting is an excellent occasion to forge plans regarding how to collaborate across national borders.
Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (HHI) is the world's largest shipbuilding company, headquartered in Ulsan, South Korea. It has seven business divisions: Shipbuilding, Offshore & Engineering, Industrial Plant & Engineering, Engine & Machinery, Electro & Electric Systems, Construction Equipment, and Green Energy. HHI is part of the Hyundai Group, which is a South Korean conglomerate (Chaebol) founded by Chung Ju-yung. The first company in the group was founded in 1947 as a construction company. With government assistance, Chung and his family members rapidly expanded into various industries, eventually becoming South Korea's second biggest chaebol. The company spun off many of its better known businesses after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, including Hyundai Automotive Group, Hyundai Department Store Group, and Hyundai Heavy Industries Group.
The Hyundai Group now focuses on elevators, container services, and tourism to Mount Kumgang. As of March 2007, Hyundai Engineering and Construction is the main shareholder of Hyundai Merchant Marine, which is the de facto holding company of Hyundai Group.
Tahrir Square, 25 Jan, 2013. "Me and my parents were protesting against the new ‘religious’ regime ruled by Morsi. All of a sudden, we heard screams from several areas around us and people running away from an unknown attack. We couldnt tell what it was till we felt sharp burns through our respiratory system, we coughed so hard and we didnt know that we had to run so fast. [ . . . ] This gas has a killing effect for us. Please help us STOP getting gas into our cities." - Mohammed
War Resisters League is launching a campaign to end the use of tear gas and related chemical weapons used (and exported) by various states. Why?: