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Aiming for Prevention at the UN and Around the World Working to Improve Health

July 20, 2012

While the Arms Trade Treaty Diplomatic Conference moves into its last week of month-long negotiations at the UN in New York and state delegates work to draft a treaty text, IPPNW members continue to actively participate with hundreds of other NGOs to urge for a strong and humanitarian-based ATT, which we hope will ultimately save lives and improve health worldwide.

At the same time, IPPNW doctors around the world are working on the ground to save lives and improve health today through a number of projects on armed violence prevention. Two of note include the following. First, a Victim Assistance Pilot Clinic research project in Lusaka, Zambia, a North/South collaborative effort between IPPNW Austria and IPPNW Zambia. Drs. Michael Schober and Stephanie Hametner in Austria are the co-investigators with Dr. Bob Mtonga in Zambia. Over the next year 30 Austrian medical students will conduct research alongside Zambian medical students in the hospital emergency room as well as at social service agencies with a goal to help improve care and rehabilitation for victims of violence. Look for a blog on the training of the students in Austria coming soon.

Further north in Africa, IPPNW New Zealand doctors Andrew Winnington and Lucie Collinson will be conducting a second round of armed violence research in Liberian hospitals to help fill important data gaps for the Liberian Armed Violence Observatory and to help inform prevention strategies.

These doctors truly are on the front lines of helping to foster healthier and less violent communities for all.

Back in New York at the UN, IPPNW co-president Bob Mtonga is serving on the official Zambian delegation and therefore is allowed into the closed discussion sessions where treaty text is being heavily negotiated, word for word. Other IPPNW members participating in these last weeks of talks on-site in New York are Drs. Don Mellman, Andy Kanter, Shannon Gearhart and Omolade Oladejo, all supported by many other IPPNW members  from a distance. You can follow daily summaries
at the Control Arms web site, as well as see videos and speeches that have been made including a passionate appeal to governments by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia who called on state delegates to “make history in the next few days and change the world for the better.”

In photo below: IPPNW Drs.Shannon Gearhart and Donald Mellman (far end) meet with North American NGO team to discuss mtg with US delegation

IPPNW members at the UN are also in the news. Bob Mtonga was interviewed for Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, and the following news agencies in Nigeria reported on IPPNW’s Medical Alert for a Strong ATT handover ceremony to Ban Ki-moon:
1. Voice of Nigeria
2. News Agency of Nigeria

One Comment
  1. July 23, 2012 11:56 am

    Thanks for this update, Maria. It gives an informed insight into the Arms Treaty talks

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