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Global Week on Small Arms – Joint Press-Release by DFG-VK and RIB e.V.

Translation of the Joint Press Release of DFG-KV and RIB e.V., Germany, at the end of the „Global Week on Small Arms“

English Pressrelease – (.doc)

The „German Peace Society “ United War Resisters“ (DFG-VK) and the „Armaments Information Office“ (RIB e.V.), Freiburg i.Br., have highlighted the positive yet at the same time shocking results of the „Global Week on Small Arms“ which ended on Monday, June 8th 2008. Activists in dozens of countries on five continents launched campaigns under the umbrella of the „International Action Network on Small Arms“ (IANSA) to promote lobbying against the proliferation of those arms which are defined as infantry weapons that an individual soldier can carry.

Jürgen Grässlin, Federal Spokesman of the DFG-VK, stated that small arms are the „real weapons of mass destruction“ of our times. As a matter of fact, the automatic G3 assault rifle of the German gun maker Heckler & Koch is one of the most prolific arms in many war-stricken countries. Amongst those are Sudan, Kenya, Pakistan and El Salvador where civilians suffer heavily from armed conflicts.

In Germany the DFG-VK and RIB e.V. together have joined the call of IANSA. Representatives of both organisations have alerted members of the Federal Parliament, the Bundestag, from all opposition parties to the particularly unfortunate role that Germany has played in the global proliferation of small arms.

„More than ten million G3 rifles make wide parts of the world insecure today“, criticized Jürgen Grässlin with reference to data from UNICEF. „The recent annual reports of the German Federal Government on armament exports show a dramatic increase of German small arms being exported. In 2006 the value of licences for exports of small arms to countries outside of EU and NATO jumped to a record high of more than 15 Million Euro“, Grässlin emphasized.

„It is an especially alarming fact that many of the recipients are countries where gross violations of human rights take place on a daily basis“, RIB-board member Roman Deckert pointed out. In the past few years, for instance, special units of the Philippine armed forces have been equipped with the modern G36 assault rifle of Heckler & Koch.

All MPs participating in the meetings criticized the disturbing fact that none of the past three annual reports of the Federal Government on armament exports has been debated in the Federal Parliament. DFG-VK and RIB e.V. strongly welcome this statement. In addition, both organisations urge the Federal Government to stop the transfer of small arms altogether and also to do its utmost to establish a strict control regime over global gun trade at the UN Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms which will take place in Mid-July 2008 in New York.

For further information please contact:

Roman Deckert (board member of RIB e.V.): roman.deckert@bits.de
Jürgen Grässlin (federal spokesman of DFG-VK): J.Graesslin@gmx.de

Updated: 3. Juli 2008 — 20:23
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