Countries spent nearly 840 billion in 2001 on military UN reports

The 2001 UN Disarmament Yearbook, released on Tuesday at UN Headquarters in New York, describes the latest developments in a wide range of disarmament issues, including steps taken by countries to confront the threat of the possible use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorist groups in the wake of the 11 September attacks.According to the publication, military expenditures have continued to rise both globally and in most regions; it estimates that a total of $839 billion was directed towards military expenditures, representing 2.6 per cent of world gross domestic product.The book also examines efforts to strengthen multilateral disarmament legal norms with regard to nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, as well as the outcome of the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects and other actions taken by the international community to combat the dangerous proliferation of portable armaments.The Yearbook recounts different approaches to nuclear disarmament, prevention of an arms race in outer space and other issues taken by States that blocked substantive progress in the Conference on Disarmament during the year.”The pursuit of security through the endless perfection and accumulation of arms is clearly counter-productive – and in the early part of the new century, the world must achieve what Article 26 of the [UN] Charter describes as ‘the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources,'” the Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, Jayantha Dhanapala, writes in the foreword to the publication.

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