Scots dad attends petition handover with UN Secretary General

Posted by Jamie Livingstone Campaigns and Communications Manager for Scotland

4th Jul 2012

David Grimason Also Meets UK Foreign Office Minister

Scots Dad David Grimason today (Tues) attended the handover of the global Control Arms petition with the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon.

A total of 621,833 people from around the world signed the petition – which calls for a robust Arms Trade Treaty to end the unregulated transfer of weapons.  

David Grimason is among those who signed the petition. His son Alistair was killed in 2003 in Turkey. The two-year-old was asleep in his pram when a gunman opened fire in a cafe.

Mr Grimason is attending the final negotiations at the UN with Oxfam to lobby delegates from around the world on the need for the strongest possibly treaty.

Speaking at the petition handover, Ban Ki Moon said: “We need to act now to stop the wider spread of the human suffering caused by the unregulated international arms trade.

“I am convinced that your strong voices will inspire and motivate the delegates as they work to adopt a robust and meaningful treaty by the end of this month.”

Mr Grimason said: “I am here as an individual to tell the story of my son Alistair’s death but I am humbled that so many people from around the world agree that a strong Arms Trade Treaty is so urgently needed. Those voices are being heard at these talks.”

Mr Grimason has also met with the Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt, at the United Nations in New York, and discussed the murder of his son.

He urged the minister to ensure the UK Government does everything possible to secure a strong and robust treaty, and to remember the innocent victims.

Alistair Burt said: “I think it is immensely powerful that people who have had first-hand experience of the tragedy that gun violence can cause are able to tell their stories. They’re able to speak from a person perspective that politicians can’t do.

“The pain and agony that people speak of, whether it’s those of survivors of a war conflict situation or those that are the innocent victims of random gun violence, they speak with a poignancy which I hope will go the very heart of those who are making decisions on the arms trade treaty. “

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Grimason said: “I am grateful to Alistair Burt for making time available during these talks to really listen to the impact arms are having around the world.

“It is crucial that delegates here, including those from the UK, don’t forget why they are here – this isn’t a paper exercise, lives are at stake.”

Mr Grimason has also met with Julius Arile a former cattle raider, who in 2006 handed over the “million faces” petition and yesterday (Tues) delivered the new petition to Ban Ki Moon.

Mr Grimason also features in a new global campaign video in support of the Control Arms campaign. This can be accessed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwWTtHJ_S7c.

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

For more information, contact Jamie Livingstone, Oxfam Scotland’s Communications Manager, on 07803 970489.

Notes to editors

Pictures to download:

David Grimason at the handover of the Control Arms petition with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

David Grimason with UK Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt at the UN.

David Grimason with Julius Arile, a former cattle raider, who handed over the global petition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

David Grimason with the global Control Arms petition - made from a former ammunition crate.

Blog post written by Jamie Livingstone

Campaigns and Communications Manager for Scotland

More by Jamie Livingstone