Monday, May 14th 2012 - 04:20 UTC

Unasur defence spending one of the lowest in the world: average 0.91% of GDP

Union of South American Nations (Unasur) member states released a report detailing each country’s military spending. Ministers and diplomats from the twelve nation regional bloc also pledged further military integration, proposing the creation of a Citizen Security Council.

Unasur 43% expenditure on defense: Brazil’s forces on parade

The report, released by the Centre of Strategic Defense Studies (CEED), reveals defense spending in the period 2006–2010. CEED supports the work of the South American Defense Council, a Unasur body which encourages cooperation in regional security matters, transparency in military spending, and provides assistance in peace missions and natural disasters.

The report shows that between 2006-2010 Unasur countries spent 126 billion dollars on defense while accumulated spending increased sharply, from 17.6 billion in 2006 to 33.2 billion in 2010.

Brazil, the most populous country in the continent, headed the list, accounting for 43% of South America’s spending total. Colombia was second, with 17%, and Venezuela third, accounting for 10.7% of the Unasur military expenditure. However Chile stands close with 9%; Argentina, 8.3%; Ecuador, 4.5% and Peru, 4%.

The overall expenditure on defence in the region as percentage of GDP remains stable averaging 0.91%, said CEED. The percentage for the years considered is as follows: 0.90% in 2006; 0.86% in 2007; 0.92% in 2008; 0.95% in 2009 and 0.93% in 2010.

“The evolution of Unasur defence budgets does not register significant variations in the period analyzed and does not enable to establish an armamentism tendency or a militarization of the region”, points out the report. Further more the indicator shows South America is well below other regions of the world.

Taking military budgets individually in 2010 Ecuador was the country which most invested in defence, 2.74% of GDP; followed by Colombia, 1.89%; Surinam, 1.49%; Bolivia, 1.47%; Chile, 1.4%; Guyana, 1.31% and Uruguay, 1.06%. The rest of the countries were below 1%.

This means that the average regional expenditure per person between 2006 and 2010 was 67.4 dollars and the number of soldiers per 1.000 populations was three.

According to the CIA World Fact-book, the US spends around 4% GDP on its military, Colombia 3.4%, and Chile 2.7%.

Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ricardo Patiño commented on the importance for Unasur that member states share details of their defense spending “to establish ties of mutual trust” in the region.

The act of sharing such information is “historic” according to Unasur General Secretary Maria Emma Mejia, who argued that the report breaks both the myths of Latin American militarization and that military spending is detrimental to social development.

“This spending supports the security and safety of South American citizens…because we can attend to citizens with logistics and emergency services. It is a benefit for social peace,” she said.

The report also said that on average 58.7% of military spending was to pay personnel, 23.5% for operations, 17.3% for investment, and 0.5% for research.

At the meeting, held in Quito, Ecuador, representative of the UN General Secretary for Disarmament, Angela Klein, stated that the sharing of military spending information was “an exercise in transparency unseen in any other region of the world and a fundamental step in the construction of regional trust”.

A meeting is scheduled for 5 June in Asuncion, Paraguay, to formalize the report and present its analysis by defence ministers

23 comments Feed

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1 Think (#) May 14th, 2012 - 04:35 am Report abuse

”Representative of the UN General Secretary for Disarmament, Angela Klein, stated that the sharing of military spending information was “an exercise in transparency unseen in any other region of the world and a fundamental step in the construction of regional trust”.

This I call good news!
2 Boovis (#) May 14th, 2012 - 05:09 am Report abuse
Telling your allies what you're up to is hardly a sign of anything good or bad, I'm sure Hitler and Mussolini shared such info as well, doesn't mean they guaranteed regional stability or peace, it's a spurious argument.
3 Leiard (#) May 14th, 2012 - 05:55 am Report abuse
On May 27, 2011, the South American Defense Council (SADC) presented its Constitutive Treaty at an event in Buenos Aires hosted by Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

The CEED was introduced by Argentina’s defense minister, Arturo Puricelli, to an audience that included the defense ministers of the region and María Emma Mejía. The CEED will depend of the SADC and will be established in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It will be headed by Alfredo Forti, current Secretary for Strategy and Military Affairs of Argentina’s Defense Ministry.

Not really the most impartial or transparent international setup!.

They could not even spell the UN General Secretary for Disarmament's name - it is Angela Kane.
4 Guzz (#) May 14th, 2012 - 06:36 am Report abuse
In your face warmonkeys, we hate military, and that includes you :)
5 Doveoverdover (#) May 14th, 2012 - 06:43 am Report abuse
@3 More or less the same as NATO then. Ms Kane has demonstrated the careerist technique of flattering the sub-set of her employers (in that the nations that make up the UN own the organisation that employs her) she just happens to be addressing.
6 Boovis (#) May 14th, 2012 - 07:44 am Report abuse
@4 you only hate the military because they're the only ones with enough balls to take down the corrupt governments of South America, the continent glows red on corruption maps for a reason...
7 LEPRecon (#) May 14th, 2012 - 10:17 am Report abuse
@4 - Guzz, as usual you make no sense. It must be very wearing on the soul to hate so much.

You HATE the military, you HATE the British, you HATE the Falkland Islanders.

Let go of your hate. It makes you into a small person with little soul. Learn to see the good in people, and it will make you a better person.
8 malen (#) May 14th, 2012 - 12:53 pm Report abuse
6 ¡Qué de huev...das hay que leer!
“the militars are the only ones with balls to take down the corrupt gov of SA”
No, thank you.
5 ¡Y seguimos con las huev...das! ¡Hoy es el día!
“The same as NATO” Thanks God, we have other concept of defense based more in peace. And we do what we sign. (NO like others that say we want peace, so thats why we need to invade and kill)
9 Conqueror (#) May 14th, 2012 - 01:43 pm Report abuse
This is good news. A couple of years and there'll be a whole continent WE'll be able to invade, conquer and subjugate. Then WE can return to OUR rightful place in the world. I always knew it was a mistake letting the little “people” have a say. They were born to serve. Most of them are quite good at it as well. Provided you remember to whip them every other day until you can actually SEE their spines.

I reckon that one of the first things to do is to give the argies and their supporting neighbours what they've always wanted. The Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Hope they'll all be able to STAND on the Islands. Meanwhile, the Falklanders will get all the parts of South America they want. But they will have a different attitude to argies. Instead of banging on all the time about wanting the Islands, they'll be telling argies etc to stay where they are and that they're not allowed to visit South America. We can see it, can't we? Peruvian, venezuelan and argie-flagged vessels banned from entering South American ports. The Falkland Islands renamed as argieland, South Georgia renamed as Peru and the South Sandwich Islands renamed as Venezuela. Meanwhile, South America can be renamed “the British Empire of the South”! The South Atlantic can be renamed as “The British Ocean”. Little islands can be designated as artillery and bombing ranges with moving targets. WE can make regular visits to ensure no overcrowding. By removing thousands of “voluntary” slaves. Hunting trips! Slaves for the fields, slaves for the mines, slaves for the armaments factories, slaves for the effluent works. Slaves for use in the fishing industry. As bait. WE will need research to determine how many slaves it will take on their little treadmills to get warships, and other vessels, up to 50 knots. This will be of special importance to the cruise industry so that paying passengers can go water-skiing. So many possibilities with all those easily-available slaves!
10 PirateLove (#) May 14th, 2012 - 02:31 pm Report abuse
“we hate military” when you say we do you mean the whole of unasur or just Argenweener as the Brazilians spent nearly 6 times more than Argenweener on Defence they clearly wish to muscle up in the area, No?
11 malen (#) May 14th, 2012 - 02:42 pm Report abuse
6 for corruption, boovis, we use justice.
12 ChrisR (#) May 14th, 2012 - 03:21 pm Report abuse
11 malen

Yes and we ALL see how your 'laws' work: NOT.

13 Conqueror (#) May 14th, 2012 - 03:21 pm Report abuse
@11 Don't be silly, you don't know what “justice” is. If you had “justice” half your population would have been executed. Why have you not executed more than 66,000 of your military for taking part in the cowardly, unjustified and illegal invasion of the Falklands? What about your civilian population? There must be hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, eligible for execution for supporting the cowardly, unjustified and illegal invasion of the Falklands.

Let's see some argie “justice”!
14 briton (#) May 14th, 2012 - 04:44 pm Report abuse
Considering Argentina is 8th, and one of the smallest military and weakest, in south America,

Why then do you think, they want not only great integration, but just so CFK can get them, to do her dirty work?
That’s why it’s a s/a problem and not hers, [her words]
15 malen (#) May 14th, 2012 - 04:57 pm Report abuse
I prefer laws working and not working than militars?? you Chris??'
16 briton (#) May 14th, 2012 - 05:10 pm Report abuse
We thinks all s/a countries should give up all there military,
And peacefully live in sin,

Think of all the money they would save,
All the poor they would save,
And de-militarising s/a at the same time
Peace in our time,
CFK we think not
17 ChrisR (#) May 14th, 2012 - 06:10 pm Report abuse
15 malen

I prefer living among peaceful people like those of Urguay.

But depending where I worked around the world I also carried a knife or even on one ocassion a 0.45ACP semi-automatic pistol. It's the speak softly and carry a big stick pricinpal.

Works for me.
18 briton (#) May 14th, 2012 - 09:49 pm Report abuse
If all the anti brits hatred was removed, we would have no problem.

Your peace is as worthless as that famous bit of paper,
Is it not .
19 Teaboy2 (#) May 15th, 2012 - 01:01 am Report abuse
Lol and they say where militarising south america, yet where reducing the amount spend on defence, whilst south american nations have clearly doubled their military spending. We spend less than 3% GDP on MOD, yet argentina spends 8.3% and are planning increases.

Sorry but countries that allocate more of their GDP on military spending are the more militaristic (argitards, i suggest you search up the meaning of the word)!
20 RobWilliams (#) May 15th, 2012 - 08:31 am Report abuse

I would like a source on that figure of 8.3% GDP, everything I read points to around 1% at the moment, hell even an old MercoPress article says it's increasing gradually up to 1.3% in 2015 and then up to 1.5% in an 'unspecified timeframe'
21 Teaboy2 (#) May 15th, 2012 - 09:12 am Report abuse
Sorry not 8.3% GDP but argentinas share of the total percentage towards what is spent on militarys in south america. Point is they have doubled their military spending in south america, yet we have reduced ours, yet they (Argentina mainly) hypocritically say where militarising south america, where the evidence in the above article says its really south american nations that are militarising the south american continent.
22 ChrisR (#) May 15th, 2012 - 11:59 am Report abuse
21 Teaboy2

But the Argie 'government' have said they will never invade the Falklands (there are no Malvinas), but do we believe them? Ha, ha, ha, NFW.
23 Teaboy2 (#) May 15th, 2012 - 12:11 pm Report abuse
@22 Lol totally agree with you - Its funny how all the military talk comes from argentina where as all the UK has said, is that they will defend the islands and islanders. Off course in order for the UK to defend the islands the argentines and possible argentine allies would have to attack first. Argentina is pushing for a regional defence force, why, so they can use their claim of UK militarisation as a threat to regional security that most be defended against at the expense of their neighbours military - Thats what they are hoping to do, draw their naighbours in and have them fight their battles for them. Cowards, thats what argentinas government are.

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