Delegate Name: Kenna Charbauski
Reducing military spending is an important step in reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and decreasing global conflict. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), global military spending began decreasing after the end of the Cold War as nations started allocating more resources to reaching the SDGs. Unfortunately, global spending has now increased for 8 consecutive years and reached 2.24 trillion USD. Nations now need to increase global peace by focusing on diplomacy. Money not used in military expenditure can be used to focus on internal development. Ukraine, among other nations in crisis, believes that increased spending can be necessary to protect peace but emphasizes the need to reduce spending in nations not experiencing geopolitical tensions.
Article 26 of the UN Charter defines reducing military spending as an important step for increasing development and maintaining peace. Article 26 also places the Security Council as the main enforcers of this plan. Ukraine firmly believes that the Russian Federation’s seat in the Security Council allows the Russian Federation to violate the UN Charter and does not allow the Security Council to enforce the reduction of military budgets. On February 25, 2022, the Russian Federation used its veto power on a resolution requesting Moscow to withdraw its troops from Ukraine and condemning the Russian Federation’s actions. The Russian Federation’s attack on Ukraine was not only a direct attack on the SDGs but also an attack on peace itself. Before the war, Ukraine was steadily decreasing military spending and working to make all government systems more effective. Spending remained consistent until 2022 when Ukraine was forced to allocate more resources to the defense sector. It is imperative that Ukraine secures its borders and maintains security to continue working to reach the SDGs and internal improvements.
Ukraine’s primary request for the UN is the creation of a system that responds early to actions against states’ sovereignty and prevents aggression. According to the IMF geopolitical tensions lead to military spending rising higher levels than the global average. By creating an improved, permanent system in joint with the United Nations Report on Military Expenditures the UN will prevent conflicts from occurring. Ukraine recommends this system include sanctions against the aggressor. In addition, Ukraine supports nations in times of peace distributing funds to nations in defense crises that have been deemed not to be aggressors. Ukraine has received monetary support from the European Union and the United States among other nations through the Ukrainian Defense Contact Group and other fundraising methods. Successful peacekeeping efforts, military transparency, and monetary support for nations under attack will continue to help nations reach the SDGs.