Meeting of Governmental Experts 2 (MGE2), June 1-5, 2015

Day 2 June 2, 2015

By: Joseph Hartley Cavallaro, Vision GRAM-International

IMG_0287On the second day of the MGE2 on small arms and light weapons, country delegates and weapons experts continued to exchange their questions and ideas concerning the international regulation of light weapons. The majority of the debate today was dominated by the reality that 3D weapons are going to become more widely available in coming years. One expert claimed that 3D printers would be available at the consumer level within the next twenty years. Many of the concerns over 3D weapons stem from their lack of detectability in metal detectors and their availability to criminals who may be able to print weapons at home.

Delegates also discussed the importance of finding an effective way to mark weapons so that they can be tracked when the need arises, because modern weapons are being manufactured with new materials, some of which are hard to mark. There were also brief mentions towards the end of the day about the need to secure shipments and stockpiles of firearms and ammunition in order to reduce the risk of diversion. It was emphasized by one NGO that regulating ammunition globally is impossible and that it would be like trying to track grains of rice. Another NGO stressed that weapons should be only marked on the receiver of a weapon because it is the hardest part of the weapon to illegally reproduce, yet the easiest to mark.

The Canadian Arms Association briefly expressed their concerns about governmental confiscation of weapons. In Addition, IANSA representatives spoke about gun violence in Philadelphia. One of these representatives, a woman from Nigeria, also spoke about the plight of gun violence on her country and the cost of treating victims of gun violence. Another woman from Kenya spoke about the Westgate shopping mall attack, during which she lost an uncle in the mall. Her cousin was also shot in the head last week in the same town. In total, about 147 people had been killed in Garissa, Kenya. These representatives expressed their strong support for the implementation of the PoA.

WP_20150602_068Victor AMISI, executive director of Vision GRAM- International, discussed how he fled his country due to gun violence, as weapon companies flooded Africa with weapons after the Cold War. He stresses that all member states should regulate new weapons, mark and trace all weapons. States should meet all commitments to the PoA as well as to the ITI in order to combat arms trafficking and the diversion of small arms to non-state actors. “States should apply new technologies to improve information exchange et the national, regional and international levels to combat arms trafficking and prevent diversion to unauthorized recipients”, he added11327860_10152816546056227_2086986436_o.

June 2nd was also the first National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Many UN staff wore orange in support. The event commemorated the death of Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot dead in 2013. The Hashtag #WearingOrange was used in order to publicize the event. Many celebrities also showed their support.


African Heads of States seek protection before the civilians

af heads

Press release

Ottawa, July 5th, 2014

Heads of African States seek to protect themselves against lawsuits in conferring immunity during their entire term. This is what emerges from the meeting of African
heads of States, members of the African Union (AU), at their summit on 26 to June 27, 2014, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

For a long time, we have constantly bemoaned judicial accountability worn by African heads of States who commit or who have committed crimes of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, after being unable to protect civilian populations.

The project created as a result of the meeting to establish the African Court of Justice and Human Rights by the African Union is a result of their relentless search encouraging impunity. This act delays the efforts already made in the fight against impunity.

“Unable to benefit from protection and justice from the African governments, civilian populations, meanwhile, are victims for the second time,” said Victor AMISI, Executive Director of Vision GRAM-International.

Vision GRAM-International remains concerned by the attitude of the leaders of African governments who want to protect themselves first, if they violate the human rights, which is a strong signal to encourage impunity.

Vision GRAM-International wishes to remind African States that they are members of the International Criminal Court, because they have accepted responsibility for international justice and the fight against impunity.

Anyone who is responsible for violations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide will not escape justice.

Executive Director
Vision GRAM- International
Ottawa -Ontario/ Canada
Twitter: @VisionGRAMintl

Will you sign?

ImageBaffour Amoa, President of the West African Action Network on Small Arms said today:

“African countries have sent a clear message to the rest of the international community that including ammunition as part of a treaty regulating arms is a must. There is no way around it, bullets must be regulated. The business of ammunition trading is one worth over US$4 billion annually. It needs to be controlled. Africans pay the ultimate price with their lives every day because of the deadly and uncontrolled arms trade. The leadership showed by the African group was exemplary and adds to the momentum started yesterday by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.”

Today 69 countries agreed to this statement!