Students highlight small arms deaths at Delhi conference

NEW DELHI: There are 500 million small arms in the world today, and they are the weapons of choice in most wars today, Indian student Arhinav Singh told the Medical Students Congress of IPPNWi yesterday. 90% of those killed by these weapons were civilians, and 80% of these were women and children, he said. The solutions to this global problem lay in stopping manufacturing, and in strict licensing with no loopholes.

Guest of honour at yesterday’s congress was Ms Armjeet Kaur, Secretary of the All India Council of Trade Unions, who questioned the level of spending on armaments and nuclear weapons in a world where half the population has no safe drinking water and over half do not have proper sanitation.

The 200 students at the congress broke into workshops on nuclear weapons and campaign strategies. Four young women students from Iran used their country’s experience to demonstrate the devastating effects of landmines, and of chemical warfare – both used by Iraq against Iran during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war. Over 110000 Iranians were exposed to poison gas attacks, with many suffering long term effects.