Armed violence kills 2,000 a day worldwide: groups

Tue Oct 6, 2009 8:04pm EDT
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By Patrick Worsnip

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - More than 2,000 people around the world are dying from armed violence each day, on average, advocacy groups said on Tuesday, urging nations to launch negotiations on a treaty to regulate the arms trade.

A report by the 12 groups was issued as a U.N. General Assembly committee began considering a draft resolution that would set a timetable for negotiations with the aim of concluding a treaty in 2012.

The report, written for the groups by British-based Oxfam, said that since most governments agreed in 2006 on the need to regulate the global arms trade, an estimated 2.1 million people had died as a direct or indirect result of armed violence.

That worked out at more than 2,000 per day, or more than one every minute -- most of them civilians.

Of the deaths, more than 700,000 resulted from armed conflicts, including those in Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Sri Lanka and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the report said. The figures also include people killed in non-political violence involving firearms.

Oxfam executive director Jeremy Hobbs said eight out of 10 governments wanted agreement on an arms trade treaty.

"This month we want the majority of enlightened countries at the U.N. to make it happen," Hobbs said in a statement. "An intransigent few cannot be allowed to keep their foot on the brakes forever."

The proposed legally binding treaty would tighten regulation of, and set international standards for, the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons.   Continued...