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In our current period of global conflict and social unrest, there is increasing interest in the topic of demilitarization. More than ever, there is an urgent need to analyze the potential for demilitarization in various nations. Costa Rica provides a model for this, having abolished its armed forces in 1949 while maintaining the highest living standard in Central America. We work with people in Costa Rica and endeavor to spread their exemplary practice of having no army to other parts of the world.
1. Academic studies of the demilitarization potential of twenty nations.
2. Some of the Central American nations will start the process of demilitarization.
3. Other nations with high demilitarization potential will start and complete the process of abolishing their armies.
4. The United Nations will establish a Council for Nations Without Armies.
5. Citizens throughout the world will become fully aware of those nations currently without armies and the many advantages of a society free from the burden of maintaining military forces.
6. Individuals who feel disenchanted and disenfranchised by national and international politics will be empowered by participating in movements and conversations that can change the future of the international security system.
• We support the Women’s Initiative for Demilitarizing Central America.
• We encourage researchers in peace studies and other relevant fields to conduct research on demilitarization potential of nations.
• We request that the governments of nations with no armies, including Costa Rica, Iceland, and Panama, propose to the United Nations General Assembly the establishment of a Council for Nations Without Armies. The Council will discuss the security of their member states and undertake action on their behalf.
• We promote Courageous Conversations–friendly, and non-polarized discussions that explore the need and steps for creating a world without war.
• We support and sponsor peace and reconciliation programs in many parts of the world.
• We support and sponsor innternational childrens’ art exhibitions envisioning a world without war.
A Formula for Prosperous Conversion recommended by AWWA
A nation calls for volunteers among its soldiers, 5 – 10% per year, and reinsert them into civilian life, guaranteeing equivalent salaries and benefits as in military service. The former soldiers with new skills will participate in national projects that improve the wellbeing of citizens and the economy
of the nation. These projects can increase employment for other citizens. Some military forces may transform into civil service units. This conversion process may be coordinated with that of neighboring nations.
NATIONS CURRENTLY WITHOUT ARMIES
24 countries: Andorra, Costa Rica, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Iceland, Kiribati, Lichtenstein, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Monaco, Montserrat, Nauru, Palau, Panama, Saint Kitts and Navis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Vatican City.
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THE CONTINENT CURRENTLY WITHOUT ARMIES
Antarctica provides an example that a whole continent can be free of armed forces under international agreement.
NATIONS INTERESTED IN DEMILITARIZATION
In Switzerland, 35.6% of the voters supported the abolishment of its army in a referendum in 1989.
In 1998, the conference “The Leadership Challenges of Demilitarization in Africa” (LCDA) took place in Tanzania. There, officials from twenty-seven countries discussed the political, social, economic, and philosophical ramifications of demilitarization in the future, demonstrating a strong interest among nations in the abolishment of armed forces.