Time to Move the Nuclear Weapons Money: new resource launched at parliamentary event in Geneva

Geneva, October 26, 2016: ‘Move the Nuclear Weapons Money: A handbook for civil society and legislators’, was launched yesterday at the 135th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an organisation of 170 member parliaments from around the world.

The handbook, published by the International Peace Bureau, World Future Council (WFC) and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), was launched as part of deliberations at the IPU Assembly on the issue of military spending versus Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

‘Over $100 billion is spent annually on nuclear weapons – funds that are sorely needed to meet the SDGs,’ says Saber Chowdhury, IPU President. ‘Parliamentarians have a key role to play in setting budgets, developing policy and providing oversight on government investments. This handbook provides a guide for effective parliamentary action to invest in peace and sustainability rather than on maintaining the threat of nuclear war.’

‘Legislators at national and local (city) levels are already taking action to reduce nuclear weapons budgets, divest from nuclear weapons corporations and reinvest in sustainable development,’ says Rob van Riet, Disarmament Program Coordinator for the World Future Council. ‘This handbook gives examples of effective actions in both nuclear-armed and non-nuclear countries.’

‘There is a growing international movement to highlight the opportunity costs of military spending,’ says Colin Archer, Secretary-General of the International Peace Bureau. ‘However, this movement is currently up against the lobbying power of the nuclear weapons corporations, who are making 20 times more from nuclear weapons spending than is spent on the entire United Nations budget. This handbook provides ideas and approaches to challenge and convert this power.’

‘Governments and civil society are struggling to fund the resources to implement the Sustainable Development Goals,’ says Alyn Ware, PNND Global Coordinator and WFC Councillor. ‘It is up to civil society, working in cooperation with legislators, to highlight the connection between nuclear disarmament and sustainable development, in order to build more effective cooperative action. This handbook opens the door to such cooperation.’


For a hard copy, contact info@worldfuturecouncil.org.


The military-industrial complex is a formidable union of armed forces and defence contractors using their power to move governments and parliaments to maintain high military budgets. Those pursuing nuclear disarmament need to find ways of countering this power. Anti-nuclear activists and other civil society leaders need to join forces with progressive legislators, non-nuclear governments and allies within the governments of nuclear-armed states in order to reduce the lobbying power of the nuclear weapons corporations, and move the money from nuclear weapons budgets to fund social, economic and environmental programs instead.

This handbook provides ideas, examples and resources for legislators and civil society in order to realise this aim. The handbook will focus primarily on national and federal legislators, who are the ones with authority to decide on national budgets. However, the handbook will also include ideas, examples and resources for working with legislators at local and regional levels, and with other key institutions, such as banks and investment companies.

Media Contacts

Alexandra Schiffmann
Media and Communications Manager
+49 4030 70 914-19 (Hamburg, Germany)

Rob van Riet
World Future Council
Disarmament Program Coordinator
Telephone: +44 20 7321 3810 (London, UK)

World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its up to 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. In close cooperation with civil society actors, parliamentarians, governments, business and international organisations the World Future Council identifies “best policies” around the globe. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.