Project Ploughshares Launches Campaign to Control Small Arms and Light Weapons

Tasneem Jamal

Media representatives are invited to attend a briefing on: Wednesday, 14th September at 10.00 am at the Canadian Council of Churches office, 47 Queen’s Park Crescent East, Toronto

Project Ploughshares, an ecumenical peace agency of the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) based in Waterloo, Ontario, is launching a public awareness and education campaign called, ‘Take Action to Control Small Arms.’ The campaign highlights the problems caused by the spread and misuse of these weapons globally.

The main aim of the campaign is to urge Canadians to take action to ensure greater national and international governmental commitment to control small arms and deal with the underlying conditions that lead people to take up arms. Although the international community has recognized the devastating effects of these weapons and put in place a far-reaching international Program of Action at the 2001 UN Conference on Small Arms, implementation is lagging due to insufficient funding and a lack of political will to make the changes that all States agreed were necessary.

John Siebert, Executive Director, Project Ploughshares, “We are calling on churches and all Canadians to join with us in advocating measures to restore the security and well-being of people in gun-affected regions. Public pressure is essential to encourage governments to act, and to ensure a constructive outcome to the forthcoming United Nations Small Arms Review Conference in July 2006.”

Rev. Dr. Hamilton, “From now until July 2006, we have a unique opportunity to raise awareness and speak out about the grave humanitarian suffering caused by small arms proliferation and misuse. We welcome Project Ploughshares’ efforts in this regard and encourage all member churches of the CCC to support this initiative. By doing so, churches, community groups, and individuals can reaffirm their commitment to the values that underpin the pursuit of justice, peace, and security without resort to the use of weapons.”

John Siebert and Lynne Griffiths-Fulton of Project Ploughshares, along with the Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, General Secretary of the CCC, will provide an introduction and background on the campaign at the media briefing.

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