Colaborando con el Centro Delàs estás ayudando a construir un mundo desarmado que avance en la resolución pacífica de los conflictos y una sociedad noviolenta.
Para colaborar con nosotrostú decides la cuota que destinas.Puedes escojer diferentes tipos de colaboraciones:
En cualquier caso puedes hacer un donativo puntual en nuestro número de cuenta en el Triodos Bank:
Muchas gracias por tu ayuda
Pau Global is an electronic magazine distributed free in Catalan and Spanish by the Centre d'Estudis per la Pau J.M. Delàs of Justícia i Pau. The articles are cuts that we believe may be of interest.
Write your e-mail to subscribe:
To unsubscribe, please click the link within the Pau Global.
And please, send us suggestions and opinions, and forward this to your contacts. The articles published are the opinions of the authors and do not represent, unless otherwise indicated, the views of the Center Delàs. We offer you the version in Catalan and Spanish.
Centre Delàs disseminates its work through various types of publications:
Are there really as many arms as it is said? Are they necessary?
The truth is that there are nuclear and non-nuclear weapons. Among non-nuclear weapons we can distinguish between conventional, which are not arms of mass destruction, biological and chemical ones.
Despite their importance, most of the amassed weapons are not nuclear. Moreover, four fifths of the world military spending are set aside for conventional arms and for the upkeep of armed forces.
A good example of the insecurity created by the excess of arms is that since the end of the Cold War there have been 87 armed conflicts with more than 7 million victims. 90% of these victims were civilians and the arms used were conventional weapons produced in North countries.
How much does it cost to maintain this situation?
On a worldwide scale, military spending continues to be extremely high. For example, it is eighteen times higher than the development assistance that economically developed countries transfer to Third World countries. Besides, they absorb an amount seven times higher than the payments demanded to South countries in services (interests and repayments).
Which is the economic effect of the production of arms?
Nevertheless, they are considered as security or defence goods. But whom do they defend? From whom? How? Who has decided this? When have defensive priorities been decided? Who and how has defined the threats?
On the other hand, negative effects of military investment (opportunity costs) have debilitating consequences for developed countries in the long term that turn to be devastating in the case of Third World countries in the short and middle term. It has been proved that for these countries it leads to disaster; a developing country needs productive investment, education of the workforce, improvements in medical care, communication and transport systems and more and a better equipment. Diverting resources used for the satisfaction of these needs means choosing a strong destructive potential for the economy of the country.
Spain is not an exception. Also here, economic effects bound to the production of arms are negative in the middle and long term.
Does the defence of a country need a powerful military industry?
It is often said that the defence of a country demands a powerful and feasible defence industry with export capacity and vocation. However, we are not told who decides these defensive needs for the country in question. Recent history proves that priorities pointed out by centres of political decision do not coincide with the perceptions of the public opinion: they want to defend us from individuals or nations that we do not consider a threat. Official defence policy usually overvalues military and arms aspects due to the prevailing militarism and it neglects political-diplomatic or economic aspects. The fact is that the lines of argument of the arms industry and the official defence policy always refer to national interest but, strangely, they decide unilaterally what should be understood for national interest.
Is it possible to reach a strictly defensive defence policy? Would it cost less?
Investigation and production of arms work with their own dynamic, following commercial and market criteria. This means that, from a strictly defensive point of vie, neither provocative nor interventionist, unnecessary weapons are produced. It is crystal clear: the main reason for producing arms is not the national interest but reasons bound to economic benefit from companies of this sector. Sometimes national interest curiously coincides with the interest of the businessmen or the military-industrial complex.
A cheaper defence policy can be drawn up by relinquishing all offensive weapons, ten times more expensive on average than the ones oriented to counteract them.
Nevertheless, Spanish government has chosen the opposite way, which is producing all kind of conventional arms through national and international projects. Some of them are unnecessary as the European fighter plane (Eurofighter 2000), Tiger helicopters, F-100 frigates, Leopard tanks and military transport planes A400M. All of these are offensive weapons to transport war to other territories. The explanation is simple: it has been chosen a security policy based on rearmament and military force (not for the national interest) and that implies strengthening national warlike industry.
Is a powerful military industry necessary to avoid external dependence?
It has often been said that the development of a national defence industry allows to drop the purchase of material to other countries and to improve self-sufficiency.
It has also been omitted that the needs of armaments of a country depend on the type of defence chosen and the alliances this country takes part in. In Spain it has been opted for a type of defence that implies necessarily importing arms systems although they could be reduced in the middle term through international co-manufacturing and national manufacturing. It is necessary to repeat once again that many of these weapons would be needless with a non-provocative defence policy.
Furthermore, the independence of a country is not simply based on arms self-sufficiency. In a time when, at least in developed countries, military invasions are not usual, economic, financial and cultural penetration turn to be much more effective.
Does the arms industry create jobs?
Several studies carried out by the United Nations indicate that the same investment in another sector, different from arms industry, would create more jobs since the notable demand of specialization of this sector would be eliminated. But let us examine the Spanish reality more specifically.
Growth rates of industries in this sector have been and are still unequal. Some companies have undergone a marked increase in their sales and exports. Others present important deficits and undergo deep restructuring. The fact is that the predominant tendency is that of promoting companies considered to be capital intensive that consequently need little labour. That is, military technology not only does not create jobs but also makes them drop. Besides, the same investment in a different sector would always produce more.
Is arms export unavoidable?
The truth is that not necessarily. It depends on whether they are produced for security reasons or for export. However, official declarations tend to be circular: arms industry guarantees defence ability and taken into account current prices of military products, the viability of the industry demands to raise the production in order to reduce the costs. Nevertheless, overproduction demands to export.
The fact is that there are industries created according to export rates but not to the satisfaction of needs of the interior market. There are countries where only one fourth or fifth of the production is exported (as Sweden or Germany). On the other hand, there are countries like Italy that export 70% of their production.
Spain (as France and Great Britain) exports between 40% or 50% of the production of the sector, which means that many arms are designed in order to be sold abroad.
Does arms export have a connection with political criteria?
Justifying the export referring to the need of reducing the costs or achieving a return on the effort of investigation and development means forgetting the political nature of defence industry. The whole defence industry is favoured and promoted by the governments, everything enjoys incentives and subsidies and there are laws and regulations regarding exports. We are not talking about the typical industrial sector whose production, no matter how, is usually and principally bought by the state. It is not possible to keep both opposite discourses: whether “there is a need to have arms at our disposal for national security reasons” (regardless of their cost since it has usually been said that security has no price) or “national market for arms will never justify the substantial investments derived from the production of arms”. Trying to maintain both things invalidates both statements. Anyway, exporting to “achieve a return on costs” does not exempt the companies, authorities and citizens from the political responsibility of selling weapons to dictatorships, countries that violate Human Rights or nations at war.
Can arms trade be internationally controlled by means of agreements or treaties?
Theoretically, yes. It is possible to establish agreements between supplier countries to reduce the volume of transfers, to prevent the transfer of some kind of arms or the export to certain countries. Nevertheless, the attempts have been few and they have not been successful. It remains the possibility of limiting and controlling it through agreements of the United Nations or embargos imposed by international organizations. Regarding United Nations, there have been a large number of ideas. In 1978, on the occasion of the 1st Special Session on Disarmament, all the member states promised that the recipients and suppliers would start talks in order to limit conventional arms transfers. Hitherto, it has just been a promise.
Therefore, international agreements, although really desirable, tend not to work due to the lack of clear data on transfers accepted by all the states, to the different economic and politic interests at stake and to the justifications of the governments and companies adducing free sovereignty and the right of free enterprise.
It results, then, essential to encourage controls of production and arms export at a state level.
Can a certain country control the transfers and the exports?
It can. There are, undoubtedly, political, economic, legal and technical difficulties (establishing a clear list of what is understood by “arm”) but, once again, we can do whatever we want to. Countries like Sweden or Austria have done it choosing restrictive policies on their exports. Countries that opt for clearly restrictive politics receive pressure from the military-industrial complex. It is not difficult to hear things like “if we don’t sell them, someone will do it… In fact, it is better if we take advantage of it…” or to resort to influence peddling, bribery and blackmailing. There are countries where arms exports have to be passed by the respective Parliament; others have parliamentary commissions that control the exports to follow triangular operations and underhanded exports through false destination certificates and so on. Spanish politics, despite the current laws, is very permissive.
Are there indirect measures that promote limitations on arms trade?
Yes, indeed, there are. Among others: a) reducing military budgets b) giving saved resources over to development (without accepting that actions like selling trucks for military use to a developing country are considered “development”) c) preventing that arms sales to Third World countries are made with Development Aid Fund loans or soft loans with low interest rates d) initiating a conversion process of war industries into industries that manufacture socially useful goods.
Is it really possible to transform arms industry?
It certainly is. It is not an unfeasible promise. Firstly, there are very elaborate examples and proposals developed in different countries. Secondly, in the case of Spain general criteria in absence of concrete studies coordinated with trade unions are very clear: a) alternative products should essentially make use of the same skills in their production that current workers already have b) alternative products should be produced in the very workplace using already existing factories, assembly lines and material resources with adequate innovations and new investments c) new products should be feasible and necessary, that is, products that can be bought by the public or by the government d) workers should not be transferred e) The whole conversion process would demand a totally and absolutely democratic planning, decision and execution.
Military economic cycle elements:
• Armies and military blocks.
• Military budgets and projects of the Defence Ministry
• Military research
• Military industry, arms sales and exports
• Purchases, imports and Spanish defence programs
• Joint European production programs
• Socioeconomic implications (companies connections and fusions)
• Military-civilian industry conversion
Military side of security and armed conflicts
• Professional armies
• European defence
• Military blocks (NATO, WEU)
• Security structures (UN, OSCE, CSFP,
• Armed conflicts
Peace culture proposals
• Recover the pacifist thinking and action
• Peace education
• Non-violence alternative.
• Peace movement
The mission of the Centre is to strengthen the culture of peace and the construction of a disarmed society, making people aware of the negative effects of arms and militarism. The Centre combines the work of research and publication with divulgation and social mobilization against militarism’s consequences, such as military expenditure, military R&D and the manufacture and trade of arms. Besides, it works to denounce governments’ lack of compliance with the international agreements regulating these issues.
The Study Centre for Peace was given the name of J.M Delàs in memory of Josep Manuel Delàs, who was the chairman of Justice and Peace - Girona and previously was an army reserve commander and a member of the UMD (Democratic Military Union) and he devoted the last part of his life to the defense of peace and values of non-violence .
The Study Centre for Peace J.M. Delàs is collaborator of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and is a member of the European Network Against Arms Trade, the ENAAT (European Network Against Arms Trade), the Spanish Association of Research for Peace (AIPAZ) and the International University for Peace of Sant Cugat. Besides, through Justice and Peace, it is part of the Catalan NGOs Federation for Peace and of the International Peace Bureau (IPB).
The Delàs Center has a group of 30 to 40 reasearchers who voluntarely carry out research, analysis and advocacy tasks and form the Delàs Center work group. This group is composed of a group of researchers with more experience and new additions, with the objective of carrying out a task of follow-up on the issues of disarmament, militarism, peace, conflicts, security and arms members.
Board of Directors
Delàs Center has a technical team responsible for the coordination tasks of members, volunteers and trainees, as well as management, communication and administration of the organization.
Currently the technical team consists of:
Technical Support External Services:
-Tam Tam: Graphic Design
How we are Funded
- Barcelona City Council – Dirección de Justícia Global y Cooperación Internacional
- Barcelona City Council – Ámbito Distrito y Ciudad, Línea Participación y Asociacionismo
- Sant Cugat City Council
- Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation
- Generalitat de Catalunya - General Direction of Institutional Relations - Branch Memory, Peace and Human Rights
- Fons Català de Cooperació al Desenvolupament
- Diputación de Barcelona, Oficina de Cooperación al Desarrollo
- Institut Català Internacional per la Pau (ICIP)
- Área Metropolitana de Barcelona, Área de Internacional y de Cooperación
- ICAN: Campanya Internacional per l'Abolició de les Armes Nuclears
- ICBL-CMC - Campanya Internacional per Prohibir les Mines Antipersonal - Coalició contra les Bombes de Dispersió
- GrassROOTS Community Foundation
Shareholder contributions and donations
The members of the entity collaborate with a monthly, quarterly or annual fee and have the right to participate in the assemblies of the entity and to be part of the Board of Directors. In addition the Delàs Center receives occasional donations linked to any of the campaigns such as Armada Banca or Fiscal Objection to Military Spending, among others.
Headquarters of Delàs Centre for Peace Studies
The Delàs Center is headquartered in Barcelona, but also has offices in the towns of habitual residence of the permanent members, collaborators and sympathizers, where different activities are organized (Madrid, Granada, Valencia, Castellón, Molins De Rei, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Sant Feliu de Llobregat...).
The officially established offices and delegations of the Delàs Center are:
- Sant Cugat del Vallès
- Molins de Rei
The Centro Delàs is also:
- A decentralized Office of the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and manages its main line of work Disarmament for Development, with the campaign GLobal on Military Spending. The headquarters of the IPB is in Berlin and has another sub-office in Geneva.
- Active member of ENAAT (European Network Against Arms Trade) which has a shared political advocacy office in Brussels.