A campaign has spent the last week highlighting the incredible level of funding global governments put towards nuclear weapons, and calling for the money to be moved to more socially productive projects. Pope Francis has previously called spending on nuclear weapons “theft from the poor” and Christians have been among those involved in the campaign.
The nine nuclear-armed states (USA, UK, Russia, China, France, North Korea, Israel, India and Pakistan) are due to spend $1 trillion dollars (around £775 billion) upgrading their arsenals in the next decade. This comes against the backdrop of increased frustration from non nuclear-armed states with progress towards disarmament.
The Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign was launched in 2016, and activists from across the globe have been taking part in events to count the $1 trillion dollars. As the money has been counted in $1 million notes it has been redistributed to each of the Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting what could be achieved if the money was spent elsewhere.
During the week a US Senator introduced legislation which would see $75 billion cut from the budget for nuclear weapons in the United States over the next decade. Senator Edward J Markey from Massachusetts has introduced the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditure (SANE) Act with the support of Congressman Earl Blumenauer from Oregon and Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont.
The Move the Nuclear Weapons Money is the latest campaign seeking to bring attention to the level of spending on nuclear weapons. Christian CND has joined a multi-faith group in the UK to highlight the policies of investment institutions here towards nuclear weapons. Watch out for that report coming soon, which will also provide an opportunity for everyone to get involved in the campaign to end the funding of nuclear weapons.