The World Spends US$ 100 Billion on Nuclear Warheads… This Year


Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva – Nuclear weapons spending in 2012 is likely to exceed US$100 billion –ten folds the United Nations’ yearly operational budget– despite continuing global financial strains and a renewed commitment by governments to achieve nuclear disarmament, according to a new report.

Source: ICAN

“Every dollar spent on nuclear weapons is a diversion of public resources away from health care, education and poverty alleviation,” said Arielle Denis, from the Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

“Any use of nuclear weapons would cause catastrophic humanitarian harm and breach international law. Investing in these ultimate instruments of terror is patently unacceptable. It fosters investments in all other kinds of weapons.”

Worldwide, nuclear weapons spending in 2011 was around $105 billion – which is more than the gross domestic product of Bangladesh, a nation of 160 million people.

One year’s nuclear weapons expenditure is equal to four decades of the regular UN budget of US$2.5 billion, or 14 years of UN peacekeeping missions, according to ICAN calculations.

UN Operating Budget Amounts to US$10 Million a Year

The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs has an operating budget of approximately US$10 million a year – less than the amount that the nine nuclear armed nations spend on their nuclear arsenals every hour.

Money that is currently allocated to nuclear weapons could be freed up and redirected towards meeting the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals.

“As millions across the globe go hungry and are denied access to clean water, basic medicines and sanitation, the nuclear-armed nations are spending around US$300 million every day on their nuclear forces,” said Melbourne-based ICAN campaigner Tim Wright.

“Obviously, there are better ways to spend this money than on weapons that threaten us all.”

US Spending on Nuclear Weapons More Than Half of the Global Total

US spending on nuclear weapons accounts for more than half of the global total. In 2011 it spent an estimated US$61.3 billion modernizing and maintaining is stockpile of 8,500 nuclear warheads and the related infrastructure, which is about twice as much as it spent on foreign aid, and equal to the combined GDP of Sudan and South Sudan.

“The vast outlays on the modernization of nuclear arsenals cast serious doubt on the sincerity of our leaders’ pledges to work for a world without nuclear weapons, suggesting instead a commitment to retain such weapons indefinitely, “ said Denis.

“As nuclear weapons start to lose their status and role, people are more and more questioning their outrageous costs. A new momentum is raising within non-nuclear-armed states to challenge the world’s nuclear addiction and demand negotiations for a ban on nuclear weapons,” she added.

Don’t Bank on The Bomb

In April this year, ICAN launched a groundbreaking report identifying more than 300 financial institutions in 30 countries that invest in nuclear weapons companies from the United States, Europe and India. ICAN is calling on these financial institutions to end their support for the nuclear weapons industry.

“Banks and other financial institutions should be called upon to do the right thing and assist, rather than impede, efforts to eliminate the threat of radioactive incineration by divesting from the immoral nuclear arms industry,” wrote Nobel Peace Prize laureate and ICAN supporter Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the foreword to the report.

Read more:

ICAN briefing paper on nuclear weapons spending

ICAN report on the financing of nuclear weapons

Read also:

Marshall Islands’ People Still Displaced After 60 Years of Nuclear Tests

“Don’t Bank on the Bomb”

U.S. Spending on Atomic Bombs Doubles UN Budget

Nuclear Dangers, The World Is “One Minute Closer to Midnight”

Watch The Sky–It May Rain Atomic Bombs 

Ending Nuclear Evil 

World Campain Against False ‘Nuclear Deterrence Doctrine’

You Choose: $105 Billion a Year for Health Care or Nuclear Weapons?

Connection between Territorists and Illegal Trafficking of Nuclear Materials

Obama and How to Save a Quarter of a Trillion Dollars

Middle East — France’s Fuzzy Face on Nuclear Abolition 

Middle East Nuclear Free Bid Moves to Finland – Yet Another Lost Chance?

Nuclear Free Middle East “High Priority”

Israel-U.S. vs Iran: Two (Nuke) Haves Against One Have-Not

Will Israel Attack Iran … Really? 

Government Collapse, Chief Threat to Nuclear Security in Pakistan

‘Nuclear Banks, No Thanks!’

2012 Human Wrongs Watch

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