Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Nobel laureates call for 2% cut to military spending worldwide

More than 50 Nobel laureates have signed an open letter calling for all countries to cut their military spending by 2% a year over the next five years, the Guardian writes. Half of the saved money is proposed to be put in a UN fund to fight pandemics, the climate crisis and extreme poverty.

I welcome the initiative of the Nobel laureates. The problem is more than urgent. In 1994, when I was still President of Kalmykia, I addressed the United Nations in New York. I suggested that every country - from Argentina and Angola to Jamaica and Japan - would sign an agreement on ending production of weapons, and all the money saved to be spent on production of medicines. It seems to me that after that the world would have changed.
I suggested this to the Nobel Prize winners as well. The main thing, in my opinion, is that not only presidents, kings and prime ministers, but also spiritual leaders and leading scientists take part in this meeting. I think the majority would agree to prioritize a person and his Right to Life.

If the priority of civilization is a person and his right to life, then resources should be invested in a common cause: fighting diseases, increasing the intelligence of mankind and creating a comfortable environment. War, however, should be equated with a crime against humanity with all the ensuing consequences for its initiators and executors.
The high-profile scientists argue that arms races can lead to "destructive and deadly conflicts." At the same time, they have a simple proposal for humankind: "the governments of all UN member-states negotiate a joint reduction of their military expenditure by 2% every year for five years."
They call on the world’s political leaders to allow “half of the resources freed up by this agreement” to be allocated to “a global fund, under UN supervision, to address humanity’s grave common problems: pandemics, climate change, and extreme poverty”. Such a fund, they claim, could amount to $1tn by 2030.
The letter was also supported by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is a past winner of the Nobel peace prize. This is where the starting point is. The time will come, I believe in this, when all the money planned to produce weapons will be spent on medicine, education, solving environmental problems and, of course, culture.