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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 June 2006, 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
Father's gun death petition plea
David and Ozlem Grimason
David and Ozlem Grimason's son was killed by a stray bullet
The father of a toddler who was shot dead during a gunfight in a Turkish cafe has met Defence Secretary Des Browne to discuss gun curbs.

David Grimason, from East Kilbride, whose son Alistair was killed in 2003, presented a petition calling for an international arms trade treaty.

The photo petition, part of the Million Faces campaign, is urging governments to discuss regulating the industry.

Mr Grimason said easy access to guns resulted in 1,000 deaths every day.

"Tougher controls on the export of weapons are essential to stop guns falling into the wrong hands," he said.

"The best way governments can do that is by implementing an international arms treaty."

Des Browne MP
Our goal is to build momentum towards a UN General Assembly resolution that would lead to a workable treaty
Des Browne MP

Commenting on his visit to Mr Browne's constituency in Ayrshire, Mr Grimason said it was good to hear that the British government was backing the campaign.

More than 10,000 people in Scotland have signed the Million Faces petition.

Campaigners said the UN conference on small arms, which begins in New York on Monday, will provide an opportunity for talks to begin on how the trade could be more effectively controlled.

They believe an international treaty would ban the export of arms to countries where they could be used to abuse human rights or flout humanitarian law.

The defence secretary said an international consensus on the arms trade was a priority for the government.

"We have been working closely with Oxfam, Amnesty International, the International Network on Small Arms and the UK defence industry in support of an arms trade treaty for several years," he said.

"An international consensus on arms trade would provide a practical underpinning to our existing work to reduce the flow of irresponsibly traded arms.

"This is a priority for us, especially into areas of conflict.

The Scottish support for the Control Arms Campaign has been phenomenal
Judith Robertson
Oxfam in Scotland

"Our goal is to build momentum towards a UN General Assembly resolution this autumn that would lead to a workable treaty."

The Control Arms campaign was launched in 2003 and its members include Oxfam and Amnesty International.

Judith Robertson, head of Oxfam in Scotland, said: "The uncontrolled supply of arms across the world causes extreme poverty and suffering.

"The Scottish support for the Control Arms Campaign has been phenomenal and we call on governments to show their support on Monday by starting talks on an international arms trade treaty."

Rosemary Burnett, programme director for Amnesty International Scotland, said: "New York offers a real chance for the UN to begin the process towards an arms trade treaty.

"If people around the world can organise themselves to support a treaty, then political leaders should seize the opportunity to do the same."


SEE ALSO
Grieving parents want arms treaty
18 Jun 06 |  Scotland
Gun loss fathers join campaigners
16 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Fathers in Turkish gun campaign
12 Sep 05 |  Scotland

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