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IPPNW brings health message to UN First Committee on Disarmament, NYC

11/12/2010 IPPNW co-president Dr. Robert Mtonga participated with members of the Control Arms Coalition and the new joint Cluster Munitions Coalition (CMC)/International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) at the recent First Committee on Disarmament and International Security session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City in October.

Control Arms members were focused on developing momentum for a global and legally-binding, human-rights-centered Arms Trade Treaty. Discussions with delegates on these issues were ongoing. Dr. Mtonga contributed to the development of a strategic Control Arms Policy Paper on the ATT, including highlighting health impacts, which now contains references to health and allied issues, including the following:

Under the KEY issues section:

“Conflict and armed violence has reversed a number of hard-fought gains by paralyzing neighbourhoods, closing schools, placing immense strain on health systems.... “
“Furthermore, spending on arms can divert vital funds from public services like education and health care”

Under the “What does the evidence tell us?” section:

“Armed violence and conflict ...for example in Burundi 25% of the caseload was related to firearms-costing US$163 to treat each case ….however the per capita expenditure on healthcare(in Burundi) was a mere US$5…”

Bob also attended the CMC-ICBL Joint Leadership meeting and participated in a luncheon educational event hosted by Japan and Lao Peoples Democratic Republic on cluster munitions. IPPNW will serve on the Control Arms/NGO Victim Assistance working group of the Control Arms Steering Board, of which IPPNW is a member. IPPNW is also a member of the Joint CMC/ICBL Leadership Committee.

The ATT PrepCom will convene in February 2011.


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