Broad Coalition Launches New Alliance to Prevent Violence
New York, Jan 12 2004 11:00AM
Health Ministers from around the world are meeting today in Ge-
neva to launch an initiative that would help prevent violence
and reduce its adverse health and social consequences, the
United Nations lead health agency said.
"Interpersonal violence kills 1,400 people every day and causes
untold injuries and suffering. This alliance is uniting a range
of organizations and Member States around mutual violence pre-
vention principles and policies and will strengthen our ability
to address the problem," Dr. Lee Jong-wook, Director-General of
the UN World Health Organization (WHO), said of the Global In-
terpersonal Violence Prevention Alliance (GIVPA).
The creation of this alliance comes 15 months after the world-
wide launch of WHO's world report on violence and health - the
first comprehensive report of its kind to examine violence as a
public health problem that causes 1.6 million deaths a year.
More than 40 countries have already responded by undertaking
violence prevention activities. National reports that examine
specific country situations have been initiated in at least 10
others. More than 15 Governments have committed to developing a
national plan of action for the prevention of violence.
In addition, significant resolutions have been adopted and pol-
icy debates have been the focus of several international meet-
ings, including those of the WHO, the African Union, the UN Com-
mission on Human Rights and the World Medical Association.
"Our shared understanding of the complex underpinnings of vio-
lence is essential to creating solutions that will prevent peo-
ple from becoming victims and perpetrators," said Dr. Etienne
Krug, Director of WHO's Department of Injuries and Violence Pre-
vention. "GIVPA will bring together strong partners in research
and data collection, training, advocacy and prevention pro-
"The continuing high trends of violence will not be reversed
without this kind of commitment to cooperation and investment in
prevention," he added.
At today's meeting, co-hosted by the Government of the Republic
and Canton of Geneva and WHO, leading decision-makers from
nearly a dozen countries will examine the progress of violence
prevention efforts in the last year and determine ways to con-
tinue to turn the report's recommendations into action.
For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news