The Philippines: Women dressed in black hand over petitions to government for a strong ATT

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. Representatives of the group were allowed to enter the Department of Foreign Affairs to meet with officers of the United Nations and International Organizations Office (UNIO) in particular, Executive Director Kira Azucena. Jasmin Nario-Galace IANSA Women of the Center for Peace Education and WE Act 1325 and IAC Co-Chair, handed over a letter for President Benigno Aquino III, as well as lists of signatures from parliamentarians, interfaith leaders and women's groups declaring support for a robust Arms Trade Treaty. She also handed a bundle of bananas to raise the point that if there are global rules regulating the trade in bananas, there should be a treaty as well for the trade in weapons. The event was widely covered by the media and broadcast on evening news: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_t-swjgIp-o&feature=player_embedded