To participate in International Congress on Social and Health Effects of Small Arms
Ludhiana, May 23, 2013: A 22 member delegation of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) is going to Germany to participate in the international congress on Social and Health Effects of Small Arms.
This is first such congress being organised by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) at Villengen Schwenningen, the cities located near the major gun producing industry Heckler and Kohl from May 30 to June 2 this year.
The congress will focus on “Small Arms – weapons of mass destruction, how their production, trade and use affects health and development, Economic roots and impact of global arms trade, Conversion, political framework and alternative security concepts and Solutions and Actions: Perspectives and activities international, regional, national”.
The Indian delegation includes doctors and medical students from Punjab – 7 and rest from other parts of the country. From Indian delegation Dr. Arun Mitra will make a presentation at the plenary session on the subject “Arms Race And Socio Economic Development South Asian Perspective”.
Dr SS Soodan alongwith Dr Tipu Sultan of Pakistan will conduct a workshop on “Small arms production, trade and use affect health and development – Solutions and Actions”.
Dr NS Bawa will put up an exhibition on the deadly effects of small arms. Four medical students from IDPD will undertake a Bike tour in Germany from Ulm to Villingen.
Number of Arms in India 40,000,000 and Pakistan 18,000,000 pose a serious threat to their population. Continued violence in the different parts of India has cost immense loss of life. More than 21000 people died in the terrorist related violence in Punjab 1981 to 1995.
Similarly more than 43000 people have died in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in the last 21 years. In the North Eastern part of India due to internal conflicts substantial number of people have died in the past. Everyday violence in Pakistan has led to 47000 people dead in the last 10 years. The civil war in Sri Lanka for quarter of a century, claimed around 130,000 lives.
“The UN estimates that 40,000 civilians alone died in the five months before the war's end in May 2009. Nepal reports a violent death rate of 6.2 per 100,000 in an average year between 2004 and 2009”, said Dr L S Chawla and Dr Arun Mitra, president and general secretary, respectively, of IDPD at a press conference here on Thursday.
Therefore it is important that the production of small arms and their trade should be highly regulated and gradually phased out. IDPD has already demanded that no arms licenses should be issued to the civilians as these are mostly used for bullying purpose. They revealed that they will further demand permanent members of the UN security council are the chief producers and suppliers of small arms. There should be political and moral will to curtail their weapon industries.
The demands also included that all weapons should have international registry code to trace their origin, funds should be created to purchase and destroy illegal small arm, illegal trade and support to terror groups should be regulated in terms of small arms supplied and chief arms suppliers should consider human rights violations.
They said they would also demand that the recently signed arms trade treaty (ATT) should be amended accordingly. Also, they said IDPD has also planned an international students’ exchange programme at government medical college Amritsar, Faridkot and Bathinda.