Survivors of gun violence
An unusual “open-ended” Meeting of Government Experts (MGE) convened at the United Nations in New York this week, bringing together technical experts on small arms trafficking to discuss “challenges and opportunities” related to the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) that is part of the framework of the UN Programme of Action (PoA).
Aiming for Prevention activist Nidia Rodriguez of Ecuador (second from right in photo) is representing IPPNW at the meeting, and spoke today at a special panel organized by the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) and sponsored by the Mission of Luxembourg, entitled “Survivors of Gun Violence: Strengthening the UN Programme of Action.”
“The human face of gun violence, Dr. Rodriguez said, “is a critical one that we must never forget. It can get lost in the policy debates and the statistics and legal terms and negotiations. But I can tell you that, as a physician, I never forget.”
I was asked to share a doctor’s perspective on small arms and violence in general, and in particular in Latin America and Ecuador, my home country. So I will speak for myself, but also for all the gun violence victims; those I have treated, those I will treat, those that my colleagues around the globe treat, and all their families and communities that are also affected. Thus, I’m here today to advocate for my patients.
“The most important aspect about gun violence is that every case is a face, a family, a world, and, sadly, a long journey of rehabilitation, negative life changes and a significant expense from the individual to the government levels.”
The full text of Dr. Rodriguez’s talk is available here.
To learn more about the MGE, go here.