Press releases

Appeal to Rio+20: Disarmament for Sustainable Development

A Tank made of Bread

Hamburg / Rio de Janeiro, 15. June - A life-size Tank made of Bread will support our Rio+20 appeal to redirect military spending to fund human needs and sustainable development. To demand the Rio+20 Earth Summit to address this issue, the initiative already counts with the endorsement of over 30 Nobel Prize laureates among other respected personalities (see full list).

In 2011 global military spending amounted to $1.74 trillion – despite the fact that every 3,5 seconds a person dies of hunger, billions have no access to safe water, adequate health care and education, not to speak about the environmental problems that challenge our times. According to the World Bank, less than 5% of the current yearly military expenditure would already be enough to reach the Millennium Development Goals.

For this reason we launched an appeal to the UN and the governments at Rio+20 that military spending should be cut back substantially - a minimum of 10 % per annum, starting in 2013, and that the freed-up funds should be used for social, economic and ecological programmes worldwide.

In 1992, states had already agreed to Article 16e in Chapter 33 of Agenda 21: “New ways of generating new public and private financial resources should be explored, in particular:” with “e. The reallocation of resources at present committed to military purposes.”  However, military expenditures reached unprecedented levels and almost doubled since Rio92, from US$ 1,08 trillion in 1992 up to US$ 1,74 trillion in 2011. The governments should seriously address this issue at Rio+20 and agree on a global plan for disarmament for sustainable development.

Main events for press: 

Tuesday, the 19th of June – 11:00 in the community (¨favela”) of Santa Marta (Botafogo): the tank will be presented to the press with full support of the community of Santa Marta.  In cooperation with the Brazilian organization Viva Rio, a symbolic destruction of small weapons from the voluntary civil disarmament program will be made, and the bread will be served to the people of the community.

Wednesday, the 20th of June – 14:00 at the Global Day of Action March: the tank will accompany the march with the Samba School of the community of Vigário Geral, from Rio de Janeiro.

Thursday, the 21st of June – 11:00 AM at Athlete´s Park (across RioCentro) in front of the Global Town Hall (Pavillion of Rio State Government, close to main entrance): the media event with the breadtank will feature following speakers (with short statements): H.E. Ambassador Sergio Duarte, former UN High Representative on Disarmament; Mr. Milton Rondó, General Coordinator of International Actions to Fight Hunger from the Brazilian Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Ms. Valentina Herszage and Ms. Dora Freind, two 14 year old Brazilian students who will teach a simple lesson on “Disarmament for Development” with a black-board. Right Livehood Laureate Ms. Vandava Shiva (India) and Nobel Peace Laureate Mr. Jose Ramos Horta (former President of East Timor) (tbc). Short supporting statements will also be made by local governments representatives Mayor João Coser, President of National Front of Mayors (Brazil) (tbc), Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes (tbc) and David Cadman, President of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (tbc).

Note the Global Town Hall has its main Rio+20 event starting at 11:30 AM with high-level speakers for the Cities Leadership Day.

Friday, the 22nd of June, the tank will be exhibited all day long at the People's Summit at Território Futuro. 

Additional information for photographers and TV crews: 

The Tank (aprox. 4m wide, 3,5m tall and over 8m long which can drive 20km/hour) is covered with bread which will be eaten during our events, and give view to a garden built inside the structure, as a symbol of what military expenses could be used for. Exhibition panels will accompany the tank, bringing information about military expenditures and its comparison to the costs of basic human needs.

For more information, our media Contacts in Rio de Janeiro:

World Future Council:

Holger Güssefeld +55-21-8076-0765 (German, English)

Cinthia Heanna +55-24-9995-7483 (Portuguese, English, German)

Mayors for Peace: Pol Heanna Dhuyvetter +55-24-9812-1739 (French, Dutch, English)

Viva Rio: Shelley de Botton  +55- 21-2555-3793 (Portuguese, English)

 

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