If you have read my blog before you will have noticed that I have written previous articles on the International Arms Trade Treaty. This is a treaty that Amnesty International and charities such as Oxfam and my uncle, David Grimason, whose son Alistair was killed by an illegal gun, have been campaigning in favour of for the past ten years.
The last article stated that due to a majority vote at the last UN assembly, the treaty was finally approved. After a decade of hard work, Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore decided that it was time David’s hard work was recognised. Today he held a celebration to mark the occasion at The Scotland Office in Edinburgh.
Breakfast was included along with speeches given by Michael Moore himself, Amnesty International director Mark Bevan and of course, David, who was awarded with letters of thanks from the UK Government during the celebration. Although the crowd of people there was relatively small compared to others David has spoken too, he admits he still gets quite nervous when asked to speak: “I am quite jealous of politicians like Michael, they are so confident when giving speeches!” Despite this I was still very proud to have been sitting in the audience and witnessing the speech that he gave.
Amnesty International director Mark Bevan highlights some of the statistics revolving around illegal arms in his speech:” Almost three quarters of a million people die every year due to the use of illegal arms. This equates to around one person a minute.”
The statistics are mind blowing and hopefully with an Arms trade Treaty put in place, these statistics will begin to lower drastically.
Amnesty International will continue campaigning for this treaty through to June when the final decisions will be made. If all 53 countries sign the treaty it will finally be put into force and will stop illegal trade of arms once and for all.
Photography: Amie Grimason