Humanity has faced no challenge greater than COVID-19 since the Second World War. As this rapidly developing global health emergency places unprecedented strain on our medical, economic and social systems, we must work hard to prevent new risks for instability, unrest and conflict.
Throughout history, technology has transformed armed conflict. The carnage of First World War battlefields is a stark example of what happens when advances in weaponry outpace the normative frameworks around its use.
From children living in fear of cattle rustlers in South Sudan to families fleeing violent armed groups in the Central African Republic, trafficked small arms are devastating livelihoods and displacing communities.
Every day, hundreds of lives are lost due to gun violence worldwide. Guns are responsible for about half of all violent deaths – nearly a quarter million each year.
But the dire consequences of gun violence are not limited to those slain by guns. For every person killed by a gun, many more are injured, maimed, and forced to flee their home and community. Still many more live under constant threats of gun violence.