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Peace groups tell government: We need medical supplies not weapons

Source: CAAT, Pax Christi

On Tuesday afternoon, the Cabinet Office confirmed that it has paused the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy. The delay has come as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The review was announced by Boris Johnson in February 2020.

In 2015, the government published its National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review. This cited threats to public health, particularly the threat of a pandemic, as a tier 1 threat for 2015-2020.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: "This delay should be a time for reflection and re-evaluation of priorities in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. Why is it that so many doctors and nurses can't get basic protective equipment, yet the UK is still ploughing billions of pounds into aircraft carriers? That money should be put into the goods and services that we all rely on.

For far too long, UK security policy has been focused on military solutions, foreign wars and hypocritical and dangerous partnerships with human rights abusing regimes. These policies have caused a great deal of damage and have done nothing to keep us safe from many of the biggest threats, including pandemics and climate change."

Theresa Alessandro, director of Pax Christi UK said: "Pax Christi is following the government's response to the COVID-19 crisis closely. We notice that in these unprecedented times, everyone's focus is on saving lives, not killing. The kit we need is not weapons but medical supplies. When the defence review takes place, we hope the people, services and equipment that have proved their worth to us will be funded generously, first. This Easter, Pope Francis said: 'I encourage political leaders to work actively for the common good, to provide the means and resources needed to enable everyone to lead a dignified life.' We second that."

Westminster J&P co-ordinator Colette Joyce said: "Justice & Peace in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster also welcomes this pause of the government's Integrated Review and urges them to listen to the voices of peace campaigners before they establish new national priorities for Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy."

(Image: Facebook Support-for-Nurses-Midwives-and-Frontline-Staff-in-Ireland )


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