What’s New November 2011

This page lists changes to this site for November 2011.

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The global financial crisis has spawned a global protest movement campaigning against things like inequality, corporate greed, lack of jobs, etc. Although these protests have occurred for decades, they have typically been in the developing countries, or about the situation in developing countries. As such, many Western nations, who have strongly influenced the conditions in developing countries, have typically not paid much attention to such protests, no matter how large. However, this time, the global financial crisis has hit the ordinary citizens of Western nations quite hard, and inspired by the Arab Spring and protests in Spain, a global movement seems to have sprung up.

The global protests page had not been updated since the end of 2003, but has not included a brief overview of more recent protests such as the so-called Occupy Movement. The older content remains because it is interesting to note some of the parallels too, and it is perhaps important to note that these protests are unfortunately not new. Whether this time it can make a difference is too early to tell but a lot of people in wealthy countries this time are also participating.

The latest data covering global arms sales shows that sale of arms in 2010 decreased to around $40.4 billion, 76% of which went to developing countries. This was a substantial 38% decrease in arms sales compared to 2009, and the lowest since 2003.

The global financial crisis has affected many countries, and developing countries have started to see a decrease in purchases in the last couple of years. Although most arms are sold to developing countries, 10 countries account for some 60% of all sales in the period 2003 to 2010, which the data covers. Saudi Arabia tops that list followed by India and the United Arab Emirates. (As well as concerns about some of the regimes in the top buyers, some of this spending is also said to be due to modernizing efforts.)

Updated graphs and charts on arms sales data are provided here.

The arms trade is big business. The 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, Russia, France, United Kingdom and China), together with Germany and Italy, account for approximately 84% of the arms sold between 2003 and 2010.

Some of the arms sold go to regimes where human rights violations will occur. Corruption often accompanies arms sales due to the large sums of money involved.

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