The United Nations agreed yesterday (27 October) on a revised instrument for reporting military expenditures. In future, there is to be, among other things, a standardized and simplified report format, periodic reviews, an overhauled database and an enhanced Internet presence. The concept was devised by a commission of experts under German chairmanship.
Minister of State Werner Hoyer issued the following statement today (28 October):
“An efficient instrument for reporting military expenditures is an important contribution towards disarmament and confidence-building.
The concept which has now been adopted by the United Nations will make the instrument more transparent and simpler. That will foster confidence and ensure that misunderstandings are avoided.
The fact that the revised instrument was devised by a group of experts under German chairmanship reinforces our commitment to disarmament and confidence-building.”
The revised instrument for reporting military expenditures was endorsed by a joint German and Romanian resolution, which was co-sponsored by 61 states. The competent UN committee voted unanimously in favour of this resolution, thus approving the revised reporting system. Formal approval of the resolution by the UN General Assembly is scheduled for December. The Federal Foreign Office is providing 80,000 euro for the introduction of the new instrument.
Since 1980, UN member states have been called upon to report by 30 April – on a voluntary basis – the military expenditures of the previous year. The reporting system is designed to boost confidence-building and help reduce military spending. The number of reports submitted has fallen in recent years because the old report format which has now been revised was no longer manageable.