The United Nations’ International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) is finishing up their Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence. According to IANSA, the goal of the week-long meeting is “for us to advocate collectively for an end to illicit trade and misuse of small arms and light weapons.”
What The Program’s Focus Is On
The week-long initiative took place one month before the Third Review Conference (RevCon3) on the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons.
Here’s what the program does:
Under the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA), governments agreed to improve national small arms laws, import/export controls, and stockpile management – and to engage in cooperation and assistance.
In 2005 they also adopted the International Tracing Instrument (ITI), which requires States to ensure that weapons are properly marked and that records are kept. Moreover, it provides a framework for cooperation in weapons tracing – fulfilling one of the commitments governments made in the Programme of Action. Improving weapons tracing is now part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The group listed their goals on their website, saying they want to urge governments to:
• Exert greater control over ammunition–the component that makes guns lethal.
• Make concrete commitments to increasing women’s participation in small arms control.
• Provide greater support for survivors of gun violence.
• Crack down on corruption that facilitates the illicit trade in small arms and ammunition.
• Enact or strengthen legislation to disarm domestic violence abusers.
The group also believes the week of action is a chance for people to:
• Raise awareness of intimate partner violence and the increased dangers of having a gun in the home.
• Network with young people who are also concerned about gun violence and help amplify their voices.
• Raise awareness of the support that survivors of gun violence need.
• Bring civil society organizations together for a common goal.
• Raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals–particularly SDG 16.4, “significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows”, SDG 5.2, “eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls”, and SDG 4.A, the aim to “provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all”.
The group suggests people take the following actions to make the week of action successful:
• Meeting with parliamentarians or government officials to press for concrete actions and compromises to reduce gun violence that can be reported at RevCon3
• Engaging media outlets to ensure gun control and disarmament remain a priority in your country – linking it with the upcoming RevCon3
• Launching a social media campaign (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and blogs) to push governments to take meaningful and effective actions to prevent gun violence. Where possible, use the hashtags #WeekOfAction #EndGunViolence #IANSA
• Holding seminars or workshops
• Organizing rallies or marches
• Participating in television, radio or newspaper interviews
• Conducting community awareness surveys
• Holding sports or arts activities that highlight the importance of reducing gun violence
• Releasing relevant studies and publications
The Official UN Push For Gun Control
During a speech at the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence, UN Disarmament Affairs Chief, Izumi Nakamitsu, made the United Nations’ stance on guns very clear.
“Every day, hundreds of lives are lost due to gun violence worldwide. Guns are responsible for about half of all violent deaths – nearly a quarter-million each year,” Nakamitsu said, according to the UN website.
According to the United Nations, gun violence can be traced back to “a lack of adequate legislation and regulation on gun control; an insufficient ability to enforce existing laws; youth unemployment and a lack of job opportunities for former gang members and ex-combatants.”
“The international community must present a united front against gun violence which kills nearly 250,000 each year and injures many more,” Nakamitsu said during her speech.
Nakamitsu reminded the audience that curbing gun violence is part of the United Nations’ larger goal of transforming the world through Agenda 2030.
The Deeper Concern
Americans should be concerned about the United Nations’ stance on firearms and their calls for “peace” around the world. Based on what UN Disarmament Affairs Chief Izumi Nakamitsu said during her speech, it’s evident the UN has its eye on heavily influencing America’s gun policies.