On 13 September 2011, the IANSA Women’s Network participated in a Special Briefing for Missions of UN Member States preparing for the First Committee of the UN General Assembly: Disarmament and International Security.
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), leading members of the IANSA Public Health Network, are using the Week of Action to highlight the public health aspects of small arms:
Women in Alternative Action, an IANSA member in Cameroon, marked the 10 year anniversary of the UN Programme of Action on small arms (PoA) with a people’s consultation on the Central African Convention on Small Arms, also known as the Kinshasa Convention.
APHR has opened an online petition calling on the Parliament of Sri Lanka to amend national gun laws in compliance with the UN Firearms Protocol and the UN Programme of Action on small arms to help prevent gun violence and the proliferation of illegal guns.
In Israel, a newly proposed ‘Security Services Law’ threatens an existing, though un-enforced, clause of the Firearms Law that restricts security guards from taking their guns home. If the proposed law were implemented it would automatically allow security guards to take their guns home whilst off-duty.
IANSA Women all over the world are celebrating International Women’s Day on 8 March, highlighting the campaign Disarm Domestic Violence, and calling for the inclusion of references to gender based violence in the Arms Trade Treaty.
In Paris, Amnesty France and partners organised a successful event in front of Eurosatory, an international security and defence exhibition displaying a wide range of arms for sale, including small arms and light weapons. Pictures are available here.The President of Amnesty France wrote an article on the international arms sales exhibition and the ATT in the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur.
In the lead up of the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, next week, Amnesty International Mexico is participating in a national contest co-organised by Save the Children and the G-20 presidency (Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs). The children of AI Mexico staff members recorded messages about real cases of armed violence in Mexico and asking the G-20 for strong controls on the arms trade. The stories most “liked” in the contest will be taken to the negotiations.
As part of their ongoing strategy to apply pressure on the “Big Six” arms exporters, Amnesty International is having a global Tweet-a-thon targeting the foreign ministries of the USA, UK, France, Russia and China during the Global Week of Action. Each day AI will target one of the “Big Six” countries. On Day 1 of the Global Week of Action, tweeters targeted the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who responded in turn with a positive tweet on the ATT.
Women in Alternative Action Cameroon held discussions with authorities of the Ministry of External Relations in Cameroon to bring attention to the forthcoming ATT conference and the need for quick ratification of the Kinshasa Convention and to call for improvement of Cameroon’s gun policy.
Daniel Mack of Instituto Sou da Paz and member of IANSA’s International Advisory Council (IAC) has written an article on the massacres in Syria and the need for a robust Arms Trade Treaty entitled “‘International Community’: To Syria, What Is It Good For?” The article is available here.
IANSA member INAPD (Institute of Literacy for Peace and Development) organised a conference on the consequences of gun violence at the University Gamal Abdel Nasser in Conakry, Guinea with the participation of the Guinean National Commission on Small Arms. Around a hundred civil society organisations participated and committed to work together to reduce gun violence through a national programme piloted by INAPD and the creation of an IANSA national Youth Network.
Around 80 people, mostly women dressed in black, gathered in front of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila to call on the Philippine government to support a strong, gender-responsive Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Participants were from the Women Engaged in Action on 1325 and from the Philippine Action Network to Control Arms led by the Center for Peace Education, Amnesty International, GZO Peace Institute and Pax Christi-Miriam College.
Africa Europe Faith & Justice Network, IANSA member in Belgium, decided to focus this week on the Arms Trade Treaty. The organisation is writing an open letter, which will be shared with all the national members of the network, so that they can diffuse it to their governments to advocate in favour of the ATT.
IANSA Women in the DRC Femmes des Médias pour la Justice au Congo (FMJC), are undertaking a range of activities this week. After having put up large banners with key messages on main streets, they broadcast advertisements and organised a march against the negative consequences of armed violence in Eastern DRC. They also met Congolese officials to encourage them to adopt the law on SALW in DR Congo and to ratify the Kinshasa Convention, and organised a workshop on the content of the ATT and the review of the PoA.
REPPACT (the Network for the Promotion of Peace and Citizenship), IANSA member in Chad, led awareness-raising activities with youth in schools. They highlighted the role of youth in peace-building and drew their attention to the need to regulate the trade and stop the illicit trafficking of small arms. Members have met local authorities and representatives of the Ministry of Security to emphasise the need for Chad to support a strong ATT in July, and to sign and ratify it once it has been negotiated.
IANSA is a global voluntary network of organisations working to stop gun violence - including policy organisations, gun control groups, women's groups, research institutes, aid agencies, faith groups, health workers, survivors, human rights and community action organisations. More