Armed violence

FOCUS ON ARMED VIOLENCE

Armed violence — the intentional, threatened or actual use of arms to inflict death or injury — takes many forms, ranging from political to criminal to interpersonal violence. According to the Global Burden of Armed Violence report, "more than 740,000 people die each year as a result of the violence associated with armed conflicts and large- and small-scale criminality. The majority of these deaths occur outside war zones."

Global Burden of Armed Violence

The 8 Millennium Development Goals

FOCUS ON ARMED VIOLENCE

Armed violence creates a climate of fear, undermines peace initiatives, exacerbates human rights abuses, prevents investment, disrupts markets, closes schools and clinics, and can erode governance structures. When armed violence reaches a chronic level it becomes an impediment to sustainable development and threatens the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

It is no coincidence that two-thirds of the world's poorest countries, those least likely to achieve the MDGs by 2015, also experience high levels of armed violence.

MDGs and Armed Violence

United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon

FOCUS ON ARMED VIOLENCE

Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon in his report on Promoting development through the reduction and prevention of armed violence stated that "the issue of armed violence is one that concerns all Member States, since the State has the primary responsibility to provide for the security of its citizens and promote respect for and observance of human rights. Armed violence, whether political, criminal or interpersonal in nature, challenges the State and undermines the bonds between States and their citizens."

Logo of the Geneva Declaration

FOCUS ON ARMED VIOLENCE

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, an initiative by the Swiss Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aims at addressing the interrelationship between armed violence and development. It calls for action around three pillars: advocacy, measurability, and programming.

The Geneva Declaration is now endorsed by over 100 countries.

Text of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development

Woman in room with bullet-holed wall

FOCUS ON ARMED VIOLENCE

A large group of countries will come together from 31 October to 1 November 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland, to review their commitment towards armed violence reduction and prevention. This second Ministerial Conference of the Geneva Declaration will focus attention on national and international programming efforts to reduce the adverse effects of violence on development. It represents a good opportunity to share the wealth of experience that participants have gathered in tackling the scourge of armed violence.

Geneva Declaration Review Conference 2011

CASA Logo

FOCUS ON ARMED VIOLENCE

Armed violence prevention can involve a wide range of approaches, including development, public health, urbanization and criminal justice reform. There is a need for coherent, gender- and age sensitive, holistic approaches to target risk factors for armed violence. In order to mitigate the impact of armed violence on human security and development, it is essential to set and implement integrated violence prevention strategies and to address the issue at the international, regional and local level. Within the UN, the Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) mechanism aims at advancing policy coordination among all relevant stakeholders.

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