The two chairmen of the Joint Conference Church and Development were alarmed by the recent increase in German arms exports when they presented this year's arms export report in Berlin on Monday. According to the report, export licenses for German-made military equipment amounted to 8.7 billion euros in 2007 — 13 percent more than in the previous year.
The Catholic chairman of GKKE, Prelate Karl Justen, described it as worrying on this site that once again deliveries on a considerable scale were approved to countries involved in serious internal or cross-border violent conflicts.These included Afghanistan, India, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan and Thailand. Justen called on the German government to revoke its positive preliminary decision on the delivery of submarines to Pakistan and to withdraw the promise of a government deficiency guarantee. "This business exceeds a limit set by the legal situation and international agreements."The unchanged high proportion of export licenses to developing countries is also to be criticized. It amounts to more than 20 percent of the individually ied export licenses."The world will not become safer through even more weapons," said Prelate Stephan Reimers, the Protestant chairman of GKKE. Increase of 13 percent According to research by GKKE, export licenses for German-made military equipment amounted to 8.7 billion euros in 2007. Compared to the previous year, when arms exports worth €7.7 billion were approved, this is an increase of 13 percent. Reimers expressed "surprise" that these figures had not yet been made public by the German government, although it had committed itself to submitting its own arms export report. Bernhard Moltmann, Chairman of the GKKE Working Group on Arms Exports, praised the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, which in the ten years of its existence has brought an increase in mutual information and transparency. He called for the Code to be upgraded to a legally binding "Common Position" and integrated into national law.The GKKE representatives positively highlighted international initiatives for increased arms control. Prelate Reimers praised the agreement on a ban on cluster munitions and the signing of the corresponding convention in Oslo in early December as "a success of humanitarian arms control". He spoke out in favor of an early ratification of the agreement by the German Bundestag.