Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence

The Week of Action highlights the international campaign to stop the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons. This year the Week of Action took place from the 11-17 June 2012. 

We would like to congratulate everyone involved in another successful Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence. Events were organised all over the world with incredible levels of participation, impact and media coverage, illustrating again the diversity and strength of the global movement. Thank you all for sharing inspirational information, photos and media coverage from your events.  Reports are still coming in and we are working very hard to get them all up on our website. 

Participation during the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence (WoA) 2010 grew to 267 IANSA members in 102 countries confirming that the Week of Action is now synonymous with CSO solidarity on the issue.

2011 saw a wide variety of successful activities in over 80 countries, including many focusing on the UN Programme of Action on small arms, the Arms Trade Treaty and the Disarm Domestic Violence campaign. From murals in Latin America to lawyers' gatherings in Central Asia to football matches in Africa, the diversity of the movement was clearly visible with one unifying message - ‘make us safer from gun violence’.

 

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This year’s Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence (16-22 June 2014) was timed to coincide with the Fifth UN Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms (BMS5). IANSA member organizations celebrated the WOA in their home countries, and internationally at the BMS5, which was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Here is a sample of events during the Global Week of Action:

20 June 2014

The final meeting of the Fifth Biennial Meeting of the States considered agenda item 10, the consideration of the Final Draft Document. Chairman Tanin introduced the oral revisions and editorial changes that would ensure the consistency of the document. Chairman Tanin asked the delegates for their consensus in the adoption of the Final Draft Document, and it was so decided. The floor was then opened for statements after the adoption.

19 June 2014 - Morning Session

The seventh meeting of the BMS5 was called to order by Chairman Zahir Tanin and began with statements by international, regional and non-governmental organisations.

18 June 2014 - Morning Session

The 5th meeting of the BMS5 was called to order by Chairman Zahir Tanin. The session broke up for delegation consultation then reconvened to discuss international cooperation and assistance.

17 June 2014 – Morning Session

The third meeting of the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States was called to order by moderator, Anthony Simpson, of New Zealand. This session debated on the implementation of ITI for states to identify and trace small arms and light weapons and their ammunitions in a timely manner as contained in document a/conf/192/bms/2004/1. Two brief presentations were made on the related topic as proposed by the chair.

16 June 2014 – Morning session

The morning session was opened by the Deputy High Representative of Disarmament Affairs, Virginia Gamba.  She recalled that while over the past years there have been major achievements, member states still faced daunting challenges and hundreds of thousands of lives across the globe were destroyed by guns. Illegal guns created crime, conflict, threatened international aid workers and impeded development.

This week has been chosen to coincide with the International Day of Peace, 21 September.  

Suggested themes: 

1) ‘GET THE GUNS OFF THE STREETS’  

2) DISARM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  

3) LOCK UP THE GUNS: STOCKPILE MANAGEMENT.  

Gender, Women’s and survivors' participation are cross cutting issues that will be highlighted across all themes. 

Please send information on your Global Week of Action activities to: Communication@iansa.org

Manipur Women Survivors Gun Network and Control Arms Foundation of India, IANSA members in India, conducted a one-day community consultation to commemorate the Week of Action. The consultation highlighted survivors’ rights in conflict-ridden zones and called on the government to provide victim assistance and include provisions for it in the ATT. It also included a screening of the film, “The story of Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network” and a discussion on the UNPoA. Panelists included several professors from Manipur University and civil society representatives including Mrs.

Iraqi Organization for Rehabilitating Society and Environment, IANSA member in Karbala, Iraq distributed materials and organised several discussion sessions with university students, teachers and youth groups about the need to refuse gun violence and the dangers of small arms proliferation in communities. Participants declared their support for the Arms Trade Treaty and agreed on the importance of legislation to forbid the circulation of small arms. They called on decision-makers to work with civil society to stop gun violence. 

ASVOCO, IANSA member in DR Congo, put up 185 banners in schools and universities in North Kivu to raise awareness about gun violence and collect signatures for a petition demanding that the Congolese government ratify the Kinshasa Convention. 

RASALAO-Mali organised meetings with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Commission on small arms. They also participated in an interactive radio show and held a press conference with Amadou Maiga, president of RASALAO-Mali, and government representatives on the Week of Action.

Asociacion para Politicas Publicas (APP), IANSA member in Argentina conducted a study of firearm-related crimes reported in the media during five days of the Week of Action in 9 countries of Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Jamaica, Guatemala and Colombia). Out of 89 homicides, 93% of the victims were men, confirming global gender and gun homicide statistics. 15 were minors between 8 and 18 years old, 59 victims were between 19 and 49 years old and 13 victims were more than 50 years old.

The Society of Nigerian Doctors for the Welfare of Mankind (SNDWM), IANSA member in Nigeria, and Save Africa on Environment by Empowerment Initiative organised a meeting with students at the Meiran secondary school in Lagos. Eduru Emmanuel, from SNDWM, presented a paper presenting the issue of SALW proliferation and its negative impact on human health and economic cost. Mr. Emmanuel emphasised that only reliable data about gun violence can serve as a viable tool for developing sustainable violence prevention interventions.

The South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms (SSANSA)organised a roundtable discussion on the ATT. Participants discussed the ATT Chairman’s Draft Paper and put forth various comments, which will be handed over to the South Sudan delegation that will go to the ATT Diplomatic Conference. During the meeting, eight religious leaders signed the Faith-based Declaration on the ATT.

The Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament & Environmental Protection (IIPDEP), IANSA member in India, and Nav Bharat Nirman Sangh- Hyderabad undertook a range of activities for the Global Week of Action. A seminar was held in Hyderabad, South India, which was attended by many political leaders, intellectuals, youth and policy makers. Participants deliberated on how to curb the menace of SALW and urged the Government of India to take leadership in the ATT Diplomatic Conference.

SLANSA, IANSA member in Sierra Leone, and the Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms (SLeNCSA) held a joint press conference on the ATT and the UNPOA at the Commission’s Conference Room on Thursday 14 June 2012. The conference was attended by a cross section of the media and the story was carried by five radio stations, the national TV and four print media and an observer from Action on Armed Violence.

RASALAO-Benin, IANSA member in Benin, organised a debate on the Abomey Calavi campus in Cotonou to talk with students about the ATT and the UN small arms process. IANSA and WAANSA (West African Action Network on Small Arms) materials were distributed in the campus and banners were put up to raise students’ awareness. 

REBAL-BUANSA, RAPACODIBU and MI-RPD, IANSA members in Burundi, took part in a weapons destruction session organised by the CNAP, the Permanent National Commission against the proliferation of SALW, in the Bubanza area. The arms destroyed had been voluntarily handed in by the population in six provinces of the country. This event was extensively covered by media, thanks to the presence of the Minister of Public Security who made a statement about the involvement of the Burundi government in the fight against the proliferation of SALW.

Securitas Congo, IANSA member in DRC, undertook a range of activities during the Week of Action 2012, including a press conference to launch the Week of Action and a workshop to examine the content of the ATT and the PoA’s review. Throughout the week, Securitas put up banners and aired advertising spots to raise awareness about gun violence. On Thursday, members of the organisation met with officials to advocate for the ratification of the Kinshasa Convention. 

Action on Armed Violence, SEHLAC (Seguridad Humana en Latinoamerica y el Caribe), CERAC  (Conflict Analysis Resource Centre), SERPAJ Ecuador, Sou da Paz and the Violence Prevention Alliance in Jamaica are launching a report looking at national capacities to address the issue of armed violence in 12 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Eastern African Sub-Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI), IANSA member in Uganda, is holding a workshop the Kapchorwa District in Eastern Uganda with the district task force of the National Focal Point on Small Arms. The objective is to create awareness about gender dimensions on small arms and the ATT, and to educate the participants on Uganda’s gun legislations and gun policies.  Marren Akatsa-Bukachi, Executive Director of EASSI also wrote an article the need to include ammunition in the ATT that was published in the daily newspaper the New Visio

In Macedonia, CIVIL, the Centre for Freedom organised a range of activities. They held a conference and film screening of ‘The Story so far’ in Skopje for 100 people and collected signatures to support their recommendations to the Government of Macedonia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including support for the ATT and ways to overcome SALW issues in Macedonia. They also organised a briefing for journalists, focusing on ethnic violence, a major issue in Macedonia, and shared IANSA materials and created their own in Macedonian. 

The Swedish Fellowship on Reconciliation (SweFOR), IANSA member in Sweden, held a rally to hand out information and collect signatures for a robust ATT as part of its campaign "Stop Arms Save Life" in Uppsala, north of Stockholm.  SweFOR, in collaboration with a parliamentarian from the Parliamentary Network against SALW and the Parliamentary Forum on SALW, handed out the Parliamentary Declaration and leaflets on the ATT in the Swedish Parliament.

The Institute of Human Rights Communication Nepal (IHRICON), IANSA member in Nepal along with the Armed Violence Reduction Working Group and National Women Security Watch Group, organised an interactive workshop on the “Arms Trade Treaty and Gender”. Ms. Prassanata Wasti presented data on the security situation of Nepal since 2010. Ms. Shobha Gautam, IHRICON’s founder and president, presented her paper on the Arms Trade Treaty and Gender.

RASALAO-Burkina, IANSA member in Burkina-Faso, undertook a range of activities, in collaboration with Amnesty-Burkina. They organised a workshop in Amnesty-Burkina’s head office to inform the members of the two organisations about the Global Week of Action and about the upcoming ATT Diplomatic Conference in New York, as well as a football match, a film screening and a debate with youth about the misuse of SALW in Burkina-Faso. 

IANSA members in Cote d’Ivoire were very active during the Week of Action. RASALAO-Cote d’Ivoire organised an outreach activity in relation to the proliferation of small arms and the misuse of light weapons in ECOWAS countries. They met with spokespersons of the President and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to reinforce the need for an effective contribution by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire during ATT negotiations in New York. Amnesty-Cote d’Ivoire organised a debate on the ATT in Abidjan to raise the awareness and plead for robust and strong treaty.

IANSA members in the DR Congo organised a wide range of activities. Association des Volontaires du Congo, ASVCO aired messages on the Global Week of Action on four radios stations, RTNC-Goma, RTCT, Radio Sauti ya INJILI and Radio RAU-FM. ASVCO and MONUSCO organised a march to help child survivors of the misuse of SALW talk about their cases and set up banners in school courtyards. AFIA-FEV, ADIFE Sud-Kivu and AVREO, the coalition of South-Kivu organisations, put banners on main streets and organised a workshop with political and military officials.

Organização Santomense dos Direitos Humanos, IANSA member in Sao Tome and Principe organised a joint activity with the police to collect the weapons in the community and raise the awareness on the proliferation and misuse of small and light weapons. 

RASALAO-Benin distributed IANSA leaflets in public places, shared a press release in French and other local languages and gave interviews to the national newspaper “Evènement” and journalists at the local radio station CERDEF. All activities reinforced the campaign against gun violence and the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons in Benin.

Colonie des Pionniers du Développement, IANSA member in Burundi, shared with journalists recommendations gathered by field workers, after debates were broadcasted on several radio channels, including the African Public Radio and Bonesha FM. Recommendations include improving dialogue between politicians, ratification and implementation of the Kinshasa Convention and the government’s support for a strong ATT, as well as the inclusion of both ammunition and gender in the treaty text.