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Spend on Education, not Weapons, Pope Says in Annual Peace Message- Reuters

  •  World

Nations should divert money spent on armaments to invest in education, Pope Francis says in a yearly peace message, decrying growing military costs at the expense of social services, Reuters reports.

In his message issued on Tuesday for the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Peace, which is celebrated on Jan. 1, Francis also called for a better balance between a free market economy and the need to help the needy and protect the environment.

He dedicated about a third of the four-page message to education, saying there had been a "significant reduction" in education and training spending worldwide while military expenditure had increased beyond the levels at the end of the Cold War and "seem certain to grow exorbitantly".

He did not give any sources for the statistics.

"It is high time, then, that governments develop economic policies aimed at inverting the proportion of public funds spent on education and on weaponry," he said in the message, which is sent to heads of state and international organisations.

"The pursuit of a genuine process of international disarmament can only prove beneficial for the development of peoples and nations, freeing up financial resources better used for health care, schools, infrastructure, care of the land and so forth," he said.


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