The Government of Costa Rica complains about the absence of countries without an army within the Conference on Disarmament

mercredi 29 janvier 2014

Conference on Disarmament
The General Assembly of the United Nations organized from 27 to 29 July, a special session that was dedicated to the Conference on Disarmament, a conference which hasn’t produced anything since 1996. The Costa Rican ambassador made, on this occasion, a remarkable statement : “The fact that the conference on disarmament does not include among its members any of the 27 countries without armed forces, countries which have included in their national realities the requirements of disarmament, is a paradox” (Document : A/65/PV.113. page 566, the original version in Spanish is a bit better).
While the majority of these states (which account for 1 state out of 8 worldwide and which often are small islands), came about out of decolonization, there are among them states that have not had an army for hundreds of years and that have not suffered incidents that could have affected their existence. By abolishing its army in 1948, Costa Rica enjoys a level of peace and prosperity without a match in Central America, and also the leadership of the countries that cannot or do not want to choose militarism, thus, by not having an army, attaining full disarmament. Why not imitate them ? The Charter of the United Nations prohibits war since 1945, (art. 2, para. 3 and 4, more specifically, it prohibits the use of force and threat and imposes peace, the peaceful resolution of disputes among the countries in the world, all of them now being UN members. The Charter preserves the right to self-defense (art. 51), yet under strict conditions and exclusive oversight by the Security Council.
Do countries maintain armies and enormous military budgets for the sole purpose of defending themselves ? That is doubtful. The obligations under the Charter should allow countries a more consistent disarmament. But what would be the best way to make them understand this ?

The countries without army are, at the very least, the example to follow.

Christophe Barbey

List of countries without an army : Andorra, Costa Rica, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Iceland, Kiribati, Lichtenstein, Mauritius, Micronesia, Monaco, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Panama, Samoa, San Marino, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vatican (Holy See)

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