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24 October

It's United Nations Day, and the beginning of International Disarmament Week, marking the day in 1945 when the UN Charter was ratified by a majority of signatories and the permanent members of the security council.
October 2009

After a brief hiatus at the end of the cold war, global arms spending has continued to rise and the notion of international disarmament seems as far away as ever. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), world military expenditure in 2005 was estimated at $1,118 billion, about 2.5 per cent of world GDP or $173 per capita. This represents an increase of 34 per cent over the period 1996-2005.

The US accounts for almost half of world arms spending, and about four fifths of the past decade's increase. The UN's total budget is about $20 billion per year, or $3 per capita worldwide.






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