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Girls in Endemic armed violence

Kvinnekommisjonen 2010

Norway and UNDP will in April this year host a high level conference on armed violence in Oslo to establish a framework of action that would lead to measurable reduction in the global burden of armed violence by 2015. The framework builds on the Geneva Declaration on armed violence of 2009.

12.03.2010 Av: Racheal Nakitare, IAWRT

The amount of money(USD 163 billion)  spent on increased security globally  was  43 billion in excess of all the money spent on development assistance(USD 120 billion)  last year. Ambassador Mona Juul of Norway revealed shocking statistics on armed conflict that  present fundamental challenges to the developmental as well as humanitarian goals of the Millenium Development goals. The challenges, direct through deaths and injuries and indirect by increasing  poverty,and insecurity , are not limited to the countries in conflict. "It is an epidemic of global proportion." she said.

Speaking at the event  "In Harm's way: Girls in setting of Endemic Armed Violence" hosted by the United Nations Office for Disarmament affairs, the Mission of Norway to the United nations and the IANSA womens at the 54th CSW, Ambassador Mona Juul decried the suffering of young girls and women saying "it  has been said that it is now more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in modern armed conflict. " A video documentary on armed violence in Colombia revealed how the culture of trading in drugs has exercebated violence against women, because men who are allowed to keep guns for self and family protection, turn the weapons against spouses and children. About 70% of women in colombia are exposed to arms violence by close family members. Rebecca Gerome of The Advocay project  reported that  25% of combatants in Colombia  are children. Young boy and girls, Niles 14 , Samantha 12, and Phoebe 13 years old have all taken keen interest of pursuing conflict management and human rights courses in school after having been exposed to violence through televison, in  the neighbourhood and through observing parents  involved in advocacy against armed violence. The young participants called on the governments to enact legislation that keeps guns out of childrens hands saying a life is lost through armed violence every  one hour and 45 minutes in the United States. In total, 3,184 lives are lost every year.

In a country like Guyana which has a population of about 750, 000 people, over 100,000 people own guns. The  war in Congo paved way for easy circulation of arms among the people. A participant threw the meeting into a spin when she echoed the sentiment  that "arms dont kill, people do". In response to her assertion, The  Canadian legislation on gun registry  presents a good example of where legislation was used to reduce number of deaths by armed violence."Governments have a responsibility to protect her people. Security today requires the development of human beings not preparation for war"  quipped  Mr  Daniel Prins from the UN office for Disarmament  Affairs .