Development and Disarmament
September 11, 2017
Katherine Marshall gave this speech while participating in a panel on "Spreading Weapons, Spreading Violence: Moving Towards Disarmament" at the 2017 Sant'Egidio meeting in Munster, Germany, where the conference theme was "Paths of Peace." In it she argues that to advance development and human flourishing, more deliberate and forceful common effort must go to reducing military spending and the militarization of societies. Armed societies have a high and direct cost for the arduous work of development. Her remarks focus on four aspects: arms and aspirations for peace, fragile states where control of territory is partial, post conflict transitions, and debates on military expenditures. For each the ethical and practical are tightly intertwined in what often seem vicious circles, where harm breeds harm and suffering and destruction stand in the way of peace and progress. She concludes that religious leaders and communities together have the responsibility and the potential to shed light on these links and on paths forward.