Every year, more than US$1.6 trillion is spent worldwide for military purposes. Meanwhile, over one billion people lack food security. Many more do not have the most basic access to clean water, education or health care. To build a culture of peace and ensure security across the world, the right policy incentives are needed.
The continuing existence of weapons of mass destruction poses a threat to life on Earth as we know it. Conventional weapons consistently undermine peace processes and fuel armed violence. Explosive remnants of war are still capable of destroying lives and the environment long after a conflict has ceased. There is no doubt: to achieve human and environmental security, we urgently need to re-direct military spending and disarm ourselves of nuclear weapons.
Achieving sustainable disarmament on all these fronts and building a culture of peace is essential to the tackling the interlinked challenges we face today. Many of the exemplary policies found here were highlighted by the 2013 Future Policy Award on peace and security, which UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed, noting that:
“by recognizing proven policies for sustainable disarmament, the 2013 Future Policy Award provides a road map which can inspire policy-makers around the world.”