Scottish dad takes Arms Trade Treaty campaign to the United Nations

Posted by Jamie Livingstone Campaigns and Communications Manager for Scotland

27th Jun 2012

David Grimason has today announced he will take his campaign for a strong Arms Trade Treaty to the United Nations during the final talks in New York.

Mr Grimason's son Alistair was two-years-old when he was shot dead during a holiday to Turkey in 2003 and he has campaigned for tougher laws on arms ever since.

Alistair was asleep in his pram in a cafe when an argument broke out at a nearby table and a man opened fire - killing the toddler from East Kilbride.

David will travel with Oxfam to the talks on Saturday. It comes ahead of the crucial month-long final negotiations getting underway at the UN on Monday (2 July).

David will share his story with representatives from governments across the world to push for a strong treaty.

Mr Grimason said: "I see this visit to the United Nations as the culmination of my fight for new rules to crackdown on the flow of illegal arms around the world.

"Alistair was robbed of the chance to grow up and I was robbed of the opportunity to be a Dad and all because a man, armed with an illegal gun, chose to open fire.

"We must do more to reduce the spread of weapons that fuel such violence, and governments have a once in a generation chance to do just that at these talks in New York.

"Too many lives have been lost, and others ruined, because of arms - it must now end."

David will attend the first six days of the talks when the tone is set for detailed negotiations.

He will join the opening day stunt coordinated by the global Control Arms campaign and meet with other people from around the world who have experienced the impact of arms.

As well as his personal experience, David will draw on his trip to Turkana in Northern Kenya with Oxfam in 2006, during which he saw the impact of armed violence.

Mr Grimason added: "I know access to illegal weapons isn't just a problem for one country and, equally, it's not a problem a single country can tackle alone.

"The world needs to come together now to agree a strong Arms Trade Treaty.

"I hope that by going to the UN, I can play my part in achieving the new global rules we need by sharing my story about what happened to Alistair - too many innocent men, women and children die every day around the world because of arms."

One person dies every minute because of armed violence. Every year, millions more are injured and forced out of their homes and into poverty.

Jamie Livingstone, Oxfam Scotland's Campaigns Manager, said: "Taking David to the United Nations just makes sense. He is so passionate about the need for this treaty and he deserves to be at the heart of world government when the final negotiations are underway.

"We hope that by sharing his experience he will help inspire world leaders to follow through on a strong treaty. After six years of negotiations these final talks must now deliver.

"We are on the brink of history but we must ensure the Treaty is really strong. It must stop all arms transfers where they would fuel conflict, poverty or human rights abuses.

"Existing arms embargoes are far too easy to break or ignore. A failure to deliver a strong set of rules would be a betrayal of all the innocent victims - including children like Alistair."

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Blog post written by Jamie Livingstone

Campaigns and Communications Manager for Scotland

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