To mark UN International Day of Peace TPNS is releasing its latest publication How to Transform Defence for Sustainable Human Safety: 10 Talking Points for a Difficult Conversation.
It is an attempt to offer up a framework that tries to envision how we get a much better deal for the world’s citizens from the abject failure of past and current foreign and defence policies that sees us stagger from one war to the next; the world carved up according to spheres of influence; stupid narrow mindsets prevailing over catastrophic climate change and more than 6 million dead due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is an attempt to think through the ‘how, what and why’ of a difficult conversation – the move from 19th and 20th century framing of foreign and defence policy such that it really is fit for purpose in a 21st and 22nd century climate changed world, all the time fully recognising that every person, community, society, nation, region needs protection from aggressors and terrorists and it is the job of government to defend its citizens from such threats.
But change it must.
The purpose of this publication is to start as many conversations as possible in as many fora as possible whether you know nothing, something or a lot about international relations or foreign and defence policymaking.
We have been working on this topic for a few years now and the more we read and the more we write, the clearer it is to us that – for myriad reasons – there is next to no meaningful public or political discussion about the absolute lack of leadership vision on how nations re-imagine international relations in the era of climate chaos, pandemic and now, again, the use of nuclear weapons in war.
It’s not unlike discussing how we get to zero-carbon future without discussing growth, or god forbid, capitalism. So it is with foreign and defence policy in the era of climate chaos.
While we work on specific calls such as an IPCC Special Report into the role of the global military on climate change; concrete proposals for cuts to military budgets to help plug SDGs and climate finance gaps and a high-level UN debate on Carbon Neutral Peace and Defence, these are all but steps along the way to something bigger.
How we transform defence for sustainable human safety is the debate we need to start – and sooner rather than later. Climate chaos demands absolutely every aspect of human life and activity must be reassessed. Defence is no different and on this, our leaders need to ‘up their game’ to say the least.
Summary and Full Publication here