Washington: The world spent 228 times as much on its militaries in 2006 as it did on UN peacekeeping operations, according to the latest Vital Signs Update from the Worldwatch Institute.
United Nations peacekeeping operations around the world between July 2007 and June 2008 are expected to run to $7 billion (Rs27,790 crore) — substantially higher than the record $5.6 billion spent in 2006-07. Yet world military budgets stood at a staggering $1,232 billion in 2006.
“The continuing imbalance between peacekeeping and military spending is deeply troubling,” Michael Renner, author of the report, said in a statement.
“Even though we see peacekeeping budgets at new heights, they are still highly inadequate in the face of present challenges,” the statement quoted Renner as saying.
Two-thirds of all Blue Helmets are currently deployed in nine missions in Africa. The West Asia has the second most, with 16%, followed by the Americas (11%), Europe (6%), and Asia (3%).
As of November last year, $3.15 billion in mandatory UN peacekeeping dues had not been paid by national governments. The US alone owed $1.1 billion, or 34% of this total, to the world body.
In contrast to the relatively low price of paying its peacekeeping debts, the US has spent about $632 billion on the war in Iraq, an average of more than $100 billion per year, Renner said.
“These arrears keep peacekeeping efforts in a constant state of crisis, risking stability in several critical regions of the world,” he added.