IANSA Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) National Training, Papua New Guinea - Participant Blog

From 28 November – 01 December 2011, IANSA is holding a national training on Small Arms and Light Weapons in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. 13 people will be taking part in the training, and reporting on what they have discussed on this blog.

- 1 December 2011

Patrina Dikin

I was enriched and empowered with the information shared, however at the same time I’m aware of the challenge that there is a lot more to do at the national level in terms of implementation of the UNPoA. More to be done on legislation, regulation, strengthening of country law, Papua New Guinea National Security Force have to be strengthened and resourced and more capacity building targeting human resource in the Police Force, Defence, Correctional Services , Marines and other relevant government organisation - the key players. As well as massive educational advocacy program targeting villages people of PNG, communities, youths, new generations and civilians.

The training has led women of PNG to form the PNG SALW WOMEN Working Committee, creating network in partnership is a first step, way forward on SALW related and cross cutting issues affecting PNG as a country. I’m impressed by the formation of the working committee - new journey born, a long road to take, can imagine the tough challenges ahead. As a mother, I choose to travel the road to leave a legacy for my children.

---

Angela Apa

I am the coordinator of Kup Women for Peace based in Kerowagi District in the Simbu Province in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. I thought that I was the only person who was fighting against violence, gun violence, violence against women, and abuse of children. I feel very encouraged and empowered now I know that I have other sisters and brothers in the global community of IANSA; women and men around the world doing the same work as I have been to stop small arms affecting my village, and to control other weapons that cause injury and death.

When I faced problems with guns I never knew about the PNG Firearms Act (1978) or that PNG has a National Commission, I thought I was working in isolation, not knowing the law or policies but the training has opened up another world of information and contacts for support and assistance.

During the women only and national trainings on small arms control I have been very enriched, to have learnt so much and to meet other brothers and sisters in PNG with the same hearts and minds, doing the same work as me. Now I feel that I am not by myself, I will be recognised by other communities and the global movement against gun violence.
---

- 30 November 2011

Rhoda Belden

It’s the second day of the SALW National Training and I have discovered very useful information about the gun violence, that many people are affected. New information and learning about UN Programme of Action Case Study, International Assistance, and the PNG SALW National Commission.

The learning environment provide for women to participant with men, we shared experiences of gun violence openly without being afraid.

Together we take a stand against gun violence and build a peaceful community.

---

Allan Gene

30 November 2011 marks the third day of the national training on SALW in Papua New Guinea. The participants of this important training are from civil society, the security sector and government. The training is very informative and we have learnt about small arms and the impact and destruction caused by gun violence. This has generated discussion about a lot of issues currently faced by PNG and creates an opportnity for participants to suggest ways to eliminiate and prevent gun violence in the country.

We have an opportunity to learn about the UN Programme of Action (UNPoA), the Arms Trade Treaty, and the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development. As PNG is a signatory to the Geneva Declaration, and politically committed to the UNPoA, these provide a basis for both civil society and government to advocate for a stronger national law as the current law is weak. It also helps us to start to lobby for other Pacific countries to participate in the ATT negotiations.
---

Laeko M Bala

From this training session I was surprised to learn that PNG's gun laws are outdated and need to be revisted. They need to be debated and if amendments are required, they need to strengthen the law. Now I have read the 1978 Firearms Act I can see it has many loopholes and so it needs to be revised. I urge parliamentarians to make it their business to look at the Act, they are the ones who make legislation and it is important that they realise this. I wonder how many of them are aware of how weak the law actually is? To support this the capacity of the police force, and its human resources, need to be increased so that the police can enforce laws to minimise the rise in crimes.

We as faith based organisations, NGOs and civil society organisations need to go out to our communities and begin with our homes, to spread the message about how gun violence is impacting us but how it can be prevented. We also need to continue our advocacy on alcohol and drug abuse, family and sexual violence, and recognise how all of these forms of violence and abuse are connected to each other. How many mothers have sleepless nights, worrying about their families?

We, as citizens of Papua New Guinea, have a role to play to make the elections in 2012 free from guns and violence. Together we can make sure that we have safe and secure places to vote, and that the elections are peaceful.

We are grateful to IANSA for sharing information with us at this training, to help us become aware of the different solutions to this issue and how we can work together to create change.
---

- 28 November

Tweedy Malagian – Oxfam Papua New Guinea
 
A Small Arms and Light Weapons National Training is currently being conducted on the beautiful island of Loloata outside Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
 
Three facilitators from IANSA are training 14 participants from various civil society organisations and relevant government departments on understanding and engaging in SALW control and disarmament processes. The training is also raising awareness and enthusiasm in solving and stopping gun violence in Papua New Guinea.
 
After I attended the ‘Capacity of Peace and Development In the Pacific’ workshop in Fiji in July I wanted to do more for my country PNG National Elections. However I didn’t know where and how to start.
 
The IANSA SALW National Training has given me insights and has armed me with knowledge and information to be able to disseminate good information to the people of PNG to help stop gun violence.
 
I am committed to stopping gun violence in PNG and will support IANSA’s initiatives and efforts globally.
 
This 4 day training  which is the first of its kind to be conducted in the country and will end on Thursday 1 Dc 2011

---

Helen Hakena

A four day national training began today at Loloata Resort for 14 participants from civil society, the security sector and government. The goal is to build capacity and increase participation to impact the global movement against gun violence in Papua New Guinea. This training is the second in a series of trainings being led by IANSA. Last week was the women only training which focused on gender, and this training is covering other topics including survivor rights, the UN small arms process, and the Arms Trade Treaty. I particularly liked today's session on the gender dimension of small arms control and the sharing of experiences by participants.