The Trade Union Assembly statement from Rio is "an important step forward", writes Norwegian social activist Asbjörn Wahl to the mailing list of the European Social Forum. And I agree. In their statement, the workers "embrace the cause of a socially-just transition towards a sustainable development model", and they urge that this "transition must begin without further delay".

In the wording of this good trade union statement one looks, however, in vain for any explicit mention of the environmental impact of the arms industry, the contradiction between the arms trade and the social development, the CO2-emissions of the armies (major consumers of fossil fuels), and the threat posed to every living creature on earth by the existing radiological and other weapons of mass destruction.

But is a "transition towards a sustainable development model" even conceivable without a critique and a deconstruction of the military-industrial complex?

The answer is clearly no. This, on the other hand, has been well understood by the signatories of the international appeal Rio plus 20 Disarmament for Sustainable Development. This appeal was initiated by The International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES), the International Peace Bureau (IPB), Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF), the World Future Council (WFC), Mayors for Peace (MFP), VivaRio, Better World Links and World without Wars and Violence.

Quotation from the appeal "Disarmament for Sustainable Development":

"... Ecological disasters pile up; the loss of biodiversity and the destruction of the eco-system are increasing dramatically. In addition, the current economic crisis has made the world’s governments reduce spending on critical human needs and is once again hitting the weakest the hardest." "However, apparently unlimited financial resources seem to be available for military jets, tanks, ships, bombs, missiles, landmines and nuclear weapons. The technological developments in the armaments field are becoming more and more sophisticated and murderous." "How to reverse this process is the challenge of today." "The signatories of this Appeal demand that the governments of the world seriously address this neglected issue, and agree on a global plan for disarmament at the Rio Summit in June 2012... "

"Without disarmament, there will be no adequate development; without development, there will be no justice, equality and peace. We must give sustainability a chance. "