Thursday, 19 May 2011

Get your hands dirty for a strong arms trade reduction treaty

In the exhibition space at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation here in Kingston, the Church of Norway are getting people to leave hand prints and sign their name as a way of making a colourful and creative petition in support of an arms trade treaty that will protect and save lives into the future. Conventional weapons kill more than 2000 people every day, these small arms are sometimes referred to as the "weapon of mass destruction of the poor."
The Church of Norway is using the IEPC as a platform to start a global mobilization of the churches in advance of the June 2012 Arms Trade Treaty negotiations. The petition is a way to inspire church leaders and people in congregations to get involved in bearing witness to how harmful armed conflict remains.
So it's not surprising that in the exhibition hall of the Convocation they got the Norwegian general secretary of the WCC to be the first to leave his hand prints and signature on the petition.
The idea is that the hand print should form a heart where the thumbs and fingers meet. Our hands should drop the gun and instead greet one another in peace.
Time for all of us to get our hands dirty and get on with this part of the campaign against the arms trade.