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’.



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.

Following active lobbying by the Fundacion Per la Pau, IANSA member in Spain, the Catalan Parliament has released a declaration where all the parliamentary groups expressed their support for a global ATT to regulate the arms trade.

Jocelynne Scut, IANSA Women’s Network supporter, wrote an article entitled 'Is the Problem Facebook? Guns, Sport and the Macho Mentality', on the current debate in Australia surrounding two Olympic swimmers who put images of themselves in a Californian gun shop up on facebook and twitter. The article references IANSA and our campaigns. It is available here.

The Kenya Action Network on Small Arms (KANSA) held a successful press conference at the Hilton Hotel Nairobi on the Global Week of Action and the ATT. The event was covered by journalists from almost twenty print and electronic media outlets in Kenya and was aired by Citizen Television. KANSA is also organising a community dialogue event in Huruma on Friday and prayer meetings on Sunday.

CJR/1325 (the Centre for Studies on Justice and Resolution 1325), IANSA member in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is holding a meeting with the Foreign Affairs Minister to advocate for the implementation and ratification of the Kinshasa Convention. The Centre has also launched a debate on how to link implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security with the fight against gun violence.

The Colonie des Pionniers de Développement (CPD), IANSA member in Burundi, is working with local media, including the African Public Radio and the National Public Radio of Burundi to raise citizens’ awareness of the issues of gun violence and the importance of the government’s support for a strong Arms Trade Treaty.

Bethesaida, IANSA member in Rwanda, led a training workshop to discuss the means to reduce the misuse of SALW and organised debates with women in the area of Kigali. They are also working with pupils from the schools of the district to think about SALW and issues related to gun violence.

CAMYOSFOP, IANSA member in Cameroon, held a discussion with Members of Parliament on the Diplomatic Conference on the ATT and the need for Cameroon to ratify the Kinshasa Convention on small arms and light weapons. The Leader of the SDF Parliamentary Group, Hon Joseph Banandzen, informed them that the bill for to ratify the Kinshasa Convention will be received for scrutiny. CAMYOSFOP will also be meeting with the officials of the Ministry of External Relations on the role of Cameroon in the upcoming Diplomatic Conference on the ATT.

Women in Alternative Action - WAA Cameroon were the main guests on the National Radio CRTV broad audience interactive programme Morning Safari. The interactive, call-in programme was geared towards bringing attention to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Diplomatic Conference in July 2012, the UNPoA Review Conference as well as on the need for the Cameroon Government to ratify the Kinshasa Convention and to harmonise the draft firearms law proposed by WAA Cameroon to Ministries and Parliament.

In Burundi, the Eastern African Sub-Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) is conducting a  training on gender and small arms for representatives of the DRC, Central African Republic and Burundi, all Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) Member States. The expert trainers were trained by IANSA Women at EASSI and come from the Burundi National Focal point on SALW. The objective of the training is to sensitise participants about the gender dimensions of small arms and light weapons.

IANSA member AVREO in the DR-Congo broadcast a message annoucing the Week of Action Against Gun Violence 2012 on Radio Umoja in Fizi Territory. Clashes between the FARDC and Mai Mai have prevented them from transmitting further broadcasts on the Tuugane radio station.

In Barcelona, the International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP) is organising a talk on the Arms Trade Treaty with Xavier Alcalde, ICIP researcher and Jordi Armadans, and director of Fundació per la Pau (Peace Foundation), IANSA member in Spain. Both will share their perspectives on the preparatory committees and the upcoming diplomatic conference.

AI Switzerlandproduced four short videos in English with a class of art students in Zürich to support the ATT campaign. Watch the videos on the Amnesty Switzerland website here.

West African Amnesty International Sections are organising a football match to raise awareness for the Golden Rule in the Arms Trade Treaty. AI Sections participating in the tournament are: AI Benin, AI Burkina Faso, AI Mali, AI Senegal, AI Togo. The big finale will be on 16 June. Meanwhile, AI Côte d'Ivoire is organising a public debate and AI Mali has already collected over 10.000 signatures for the Global Appeal.

M. Mwenebatende Dufina Tabu, president of the Association des Volontaires du Congo (ASVCO) gave a presentation to students of the University of Goma, following by a Q&A session on the week of action campaign, gun violence and the Kinshasa Convention. The students all expressed the wish to participate in a conference on small arms control and to encourage others to sign a petition calling on the central government of the DRC to ratify the Kinshasa Convention. Following the discussions, students decided to collect signatures on Friday at the university.

The President of the West African Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA) and Co-Chair of the IANSA International Advisory Committee, Baffour Amoa, was received by the Presidency of Cote d'Ivoire, where he took the opportunity to bring attention to the Week of Action and request Cote d’Ivoire's support for a strong and robust ATT during the Diplomatic Conference in July. Visiting Cote d’Ivoire from 10-15 June, the President of WAANSA also called on civil society to join the movement against gun violence and the proliferation of small arms.

Femmes des Médias pour la Justice au Congo (FMJC), IANSA Women in the DR-Congo, organised a Week of Action launch event. 49 people attended, including journalists and activists. In his opening speech, a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasised that the misuse of guns is not only the basis for violations of human rights and humanitarian law, but also discourages investments and prevents economic growth. Ms.

The Cameroon Youths and Students Forum for Peace (CAMYOSFOP) released a press statement calling onthe government of Cameroon to take the lead in pushing for a strong andbinding ATT. In the days ahead, CAMYOSFOP will meet with officials of the Ministry of External Relations for a face-to-face discussion on the role of Cameroon in pushing for a stronger ATT during the Diplomatic Conference. CAMYOSFOP will also participate in a number of TV and radio talk shows on the ATT and the UNPoA.

In Mexico, the IANSA Survivors Network, along with its Mexican partners, is organising a conference on “The International Regulation of the Arms Trade: The Perspective of the Victims of Armed Violence”. Roberto Dondisch, the head of the Mexican delegation to the Arms Trade Treaty Diplomatic Conference will be a keynote speaker and the Norwegian Embassy will be a guest of honor.

In Lublin, Poland, the local Amnesty group is organising workshops on arms control and the ATT and screening two films: 'Eyes and Ears of God', about the atrocities in Sudan and 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields', both demonstrating the effects of the arms trade in conflict zones.

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.

Amnesty International Australia are doing a guerrilla marketing campaign using bloodied bullet hole imagery stickers in public spaces, such as bus stop ads, train station poster ads and toilet door signs, in order to catch the attention of passers-by. The aim is to make the public curious and go online to sign onto the Global Appeal.

Georgian IANSA women of the Fund Sukhumi have joined the Week of Action campaign. Members of the Ozurgeti Club of Women-Voters from Western Georgia gathered in the Ozurgeti Centre of Civic Engagement and shared their common position: “No war! No violence! No armed conflicts!” Among the participants was Nino Nikolaishvili, a journalist of the local newspaper “Alioni”, who will cover the campaign.

IANSA member Gun Free South Africa is partnering with Primedia, South Africa’s leading media group, to run a campaign to encourage 3 million radio listeners to participate in the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence by reporting illegal guns and illegal gun use to Primedia’s crime fighting initiative, CrimeLine. The advertisement is being broadcast from 11 to 17 June 2012 on the national radio stations 702 Radio, 567 Cape Radio, Kfm, and 94.7 fm.

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.