Topic: 2023-Reduction of Military Budgets
Country: Palestinian Authority
Delegate Name: Nikhil Talla
Over the past few years, the value of military spending globally has grown steadily and reached 2.24 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022. Part of this is due to growing tensions in the Russia-Ukraine war and the South China Sea. Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Gaza Strip since 1967 serves as an example of the correlation between large military budgets and violence. Israel’s government dedicates 5.3 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to military spending, with Saudi Arabia being the only other country in the world with a higher ratio of military spending to GDP. The reduction of military budgets allows for the redirection of resources towards issues such as poverty, healthcare, education, and environmental sustainability. A country increasing military spending also forces nearby countries to increase military spending in perception of a potential threat, even if there is no malicious intent. Palestine urges the United Nations to create a more specific solution that pushes for the reduction of military budgets while factoring in the population, land, and interests of each nation.
Palestine, a state party of the Arms Trade Treaty, collaborates with entities like the United Nations to foster a more secure and stable region through diplomacy. The Arms Trade Treaty, which was ratified in 2014 with the approval of 50 states, is a multilateral agreement that prohibits the trade of illicit arms by establishing gun transfer standards. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), an increase in disarmament and a decrease in military spending can free workers occupied with producing military goods and allow them to participate in public works projects like infrastructure. Palestine recognizes the importance of redirecting military expenditures towards social welfare, infrastructure, and education to promote long-term sustainability across the world. Due to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Palestinian State has been demanded to be demilitarized by Israel, and, as a result, the only armed forces of the State of Palestine are the Palestinian Security Services.
To prevent rapid reactionary increases in military spending, Palestine suggests the United Nations establish a dialogue platform where major powers collaboratively address security concerns. The promotion of transparency in military expenditures and information on defense budgets builds trust and prevents unnecessary conflict. Acknowledging this as a multifaceted issue, Palestine recognizes the importance of military spending to ensure the safety and defense of a nation’s civilians and the various factors such as population and land that contribute to a need for increased military spending. Palestine strongly suggests countries work together to ensure the concerns of all nations are considered when discussing the reduction of military budgets to achieve an economically sustainable and peaceful world.